AP class participation increases

Posted at 12:51 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 13:51:07-04

Student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) classes is on the rise in Wisconsin, with 2,457 more students taking exams in the 2015-2016 school year than in the year before.

Across the country, 2.3 million public school students took AP exams. Reports show a 5.3 percent increase in national student participation.

In Wisconsin, that student participation reached a 6.5 percent increase.

"We have seen a generational shift in expectations for high school graduates," explains State Superintendent Tony Evers.

"Students who wanted to go on to college have always been encouraged to take a rigorous, preparatory curriculum. However, today's students are expected to graduate with some college-level experience through the AP program or opportunities offered in partnerships or with our technical colleges and private colleges and universities."

Reports indicate that Wisconsin has experienced steady growth in the AP program over the last 20 years.

Wisconsin public school students took 68,316 of the AP exams distributed in May 2016 and earned scores of three or higher on the majority of those exams.

Students who earn a score of three or higher on AP exams generally receive college credit, advanced standing, or both at many colleges and universities worldwide.

While most student groups in Wisconsin had a better AP performance than their peers nationally, disparities in achievement by race and ethnicity remain.

Because the College Board changed its collection and reporting of race and ethnicity data categories to align with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines, valid inferences cannot be made when comparing the 2015-2016 race and ethnicity data with prior years.

"Education is the key to a successful future," Evers said. "Breaking a cycle of low achievement is no easy task and cannot happen if we are unwilling to address achievement gaps and their underlying causes head on. Our kids need support, starting at home and throughout their communities, that continues through the caring, dedicated teachers they interact with in our schools. Building strong relationships so all kids achieve will ensure our students graduate college and career ready."