Press release from the Georgia Department of Education...

Georgia ranks 11th in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on Advanced
Placement
(AP) Exams, according to The College Board's AP Report to the Nation released today. This report
measures progress of the class of 2010.

"Our students must have rigorous coursework in high school to be successful after they graduate,? said State
School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "I am so pleased that more of our students than ever are taking AP
courses and passing the exam."

Advanced Placement classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the
SAT.  AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. Students who
receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.

The AP Report to the Nation looks at data for 2010 high school seniors.

Among Georgia's public high school seniors in 2010:
- 19.1% scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school. That is higher than the national
average of 16.9%.
- Georgia is tied for 6th in the nation when comparing the five-year increase of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on
at least one AP exam (4.7% growth compared to 3.0% for the nation).
- Georgia has the 10th highest one-year increase of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam
(1.3% growth compared to 1.0% for the nation).

When it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams, Georgia is also a
national leader. Only four other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam-takers last year.
The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 37.3%, compared to 28.3% for the nation.

State Efforts to Increase AP Participation
The State of Georgia has undertaken many successful efforts to increase participation in AP programs and
success on AP exams.  Among the initiatives:
- From 2003-2010, the Georgia Legislature approved funds to pay for students to take at least one AP exam
per year.  For those seven years, economically-disadvantaged students had all of their AP exams paid for
each year.
- The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has organized the distribution of AP Teacher Training
Grants.  Since 2006, GaDOE has funded approximately $970,693.00 in grant awards to train 1,342 new AP
teachers.  These awards have allowed 792 new AP courses to be offered in public high schools throughout the
state.  It is anticipated that in 2010 an additional 400 AP teachers will be trained.
- The GaDOE has sponsored regional workshops for teachers of AP for the past four years.  These workshops
are led by master teachers of AP in Georgia high schools.  To date, over 2,100 AP teachers have participated
in these course-specific workshops.
- The Georgia Virtual Schools (GAVS) continues to add AP classes, increasing access to students throughout the
state, including those that might not otherwise be able to take an AP class.  In 2009-2010, 552 students
enrolled in 21 different AP courses.
- AP Honor Schools: Superintendent Barge also named today more than 350 AP Honor Schools.

"Georgia continues to see positive trends in Advanced Placement -- not
only in the number of students taking the courses, but in the number of
students having success," Superintendent Barge said. "Much of the progress
we?re seeing in Georgia can be attributed to our AP Honor Schools."

The 2011 AP Honor Schools are named in five categories, based on the
results of AP exams:
- AP CHALLENGE SCHOOLS: Schools with fewer than 900 students with students
testing in the four core areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and
Science
- AP ACCESS & SUPPORT SCHOOLS: Schools with 30% of AP test takers that are
African-American or Hispanic and at least 30% of all AP exams scoring 3 or
higher
- AP MERIT SCHOOLS: Schools with at least 20% of students taking AP exams
and at least half of the AP exams scoring a 3 or higher
- AP STEM SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least two AP math
courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP
Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics
B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science)
- AP STEM ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least
two AP math courses and two AP science courses and at least 40% of the
exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

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Our Commentary: Georgia's ranking displays both the talents of AP students and educators.  EmpowerED
Georgia fully supports current initiatives to expand AP course offerings in Georgia's schools and expand
opportunities to train additional AP instructors.  

Our organization strongly feels that state legislators should allocate funds to
pay for students to take at least
one AP exam per year and to provide
economically-disadvantaged students the opportunity to have all of their
AP exams paid for each year.  As stated above, Georgia did provide such assistance in the past.  Due to budget
pressures, this assistance has since been cut.
Georgia Ranks 11th in the Nation
on Advanced Placement Exams
 
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