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DCSS Earns Place on AP Honor Roll for Gains in Student Access and Success

 High School Administrators and AP Teachers Honored at Dec. 7 Board Meeting
High School Administrators and AP Teachers Honored at Dec. 7 Board Meeting

 

The Douglas County School System (DCSS) is one of six school districts in Georgia and 425 districts in the U.S. and Canada honored by the College Board with placement on the 6th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP (Advanced Placement) course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Reaching these goals indicates that a district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. To be included on the 6th Annual Honor Roll, DCSS has, since 2013 increased the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. This is the first time that DCSS has earned the achievement of being named to the AP District Honor Roll.

 

 

 

“Our district’s emphasis on increased rigor through increased opportunities of study is certainly paying off in student achievement,” said Douglas County Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz. “Teachers are encouraging students to raise their academic goals to include taking Advanced Placement classes and our students are successfully taking on the challenge. We will continue to have high expectations and challenge our students to better prepare them for college or the workplace.”

 

 

 

National data from 2015 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating. The first step to delivering the opportunity of AP to students is providing access by ensuring courses are available, that gatekeeping stops, and that the doors are equitably opened so these students can participate. DCSS is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

 

 

 

“That the committed teachers and administrators in this district have both expanded AP access and also helped their students achieve high levels of performance on AP Exams shows they’re delivering opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and it is a real testament to their belief that a more diverse population of young people is ready for the challenge of college,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Congratulations to these teachers and administrators, and to their hard-working students.” Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.

 

 

 

In 2015, more than 3,800 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the United States offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.

 

 

 

“The rigor of AP classes provides a strong foundation for college preparation,” said DCSS Chief Academic Officer Pam Nail. “Students in AP classes also have the opportunity to be awarded college credit, providing a substantial savings on college expenses. We are very proud of the hard work of our students and staff in these challenging courses.”

 

 

 

Inclusion on the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2013 to 2015, looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

 

 

 

Districts must:

 

·         Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;

 

·         Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and

 

·         Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2015 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2013 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

 

 

 

When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work. Douglas County is the only Georgia district to earn this distinction.

 

           

 

The complete 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here.

 

 

 

Douglas County students have also recently earned recognition for the Class of 2015 Four Year Graduation Rate of 88.2%, nine points above the state average and 12.6 points higher that local students in 2014. SAT scores for 2015 increased seven points while state scores increased five points and the national average dropped seven points. DCSS students also showed a two-tenths point increase in the ACT composite score of 19.5. This was the second consecutive year that the ACT composite score increased in the Douglas County School System.

 

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