Spanish Fork, Utah— Nebo School District placed on the College Board’s 3rd Annual AP® District Honor Roll for significant gains in Advanced Placement® Access and Student Performance. Nebo School District is one of 539 school districts across 44 of the 50 states in the U.S. and Canada for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement® course work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work.
Since 2010, Nebo School District has increased the number of students participating in AP by 15% while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher by 10%. More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3 or above on an AP Exam — which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.
Superintendent Rick Nielsen said, "We are honored to be one of five districts in Utah recognized for the AP® District Honor Roll. We have outstanding students in Nebo School District, and this is a strong indicator of their academic strength and commitment to obtaining post high school credentials. This honor is also an acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment to excellence shown by our dedicated teachers."
Our data show that among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating, often because their school does not yet offer the AP course. We call for continued commitment to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds. We must be vigilant about fostering greater readiness for AP, and then we must care for students within AP courses by providing support, mentorship and encouragement.
“We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing. These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level—which is helping to create a strong college-going culture,” said College Board President, David Coleman.
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 expand access and improve student performance simultaneously.
“There has been a great victory among educators who have believed that a more diverse population could indeed succeed in AP courses. In 2012, AP scores were higher than they’d been since 2004, when one million fewer students were being given access. These outcomes are a powerful testament to educators’ belief that many more students were indeed ready and waiting for the sort of rigor that would prepare them for what they would encounter in college,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of the Advanced Placement Program. “While we recognize that there is still much work to be done to prepare students for college, I find myself inspired daily by what they are achieving.”
Inclusion on the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012, for the following criteria:
- 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;
- Ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts;
- Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.
When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population made up of 30 percent or more underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more 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.
About the Advanced Placement Program®
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies — with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both — while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2012, 2.1 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.7 million AP Exams.
About the College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.
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