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High schools earn state recognition

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POSTED: March 12, 2014 9:35 a.m.

Liberty County School System’s two high schools were named to Georgia’s Access and Support Schools list last month. This distinction shows that 30 percent of the district’s students who identify as African-American or Hispanic have taken advanced-placement courses and earned scores of 3 or higher on their AP exams.
According to Matt Cardoza, director of communications with the Georgia Department of Education, the College Board reported that 18,535 students scored a 3 or higher on AP exams this year, compared to 17,767 last year.
“A higher percentage — 21.3 percent — of Georgia’s seniors are scoring a 3 or higher compared to the U.S. average of 20.1 percent,” Cardoza said. “When results are broken out by subgroup, Georgia’s African-American students rank third in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams. Georgia’s 10-year increase — 9.1 percent — in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams also shows impressive results, ranking 13th in the nation.”
The number of Georgia graduates taking at least one AP exam has more than doubled during the past decade, and the number of low-income students taking AP has increased about 10 times, according to Cardoza.
“This expansion has resulted in a significant increase in the number of qualifying AP exam scores typically required for college credit,” he said.
“I’m delighted to see the continued growth of academic achievement by all students and the expanding access to such rigorous college-level courses,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “The AP program offers students the skills they need for college success, and we are pleased to see dramatic growth in the number of students participating and succeeding in these courses.”
“The AP exams are administered in May each year,” Bradwell Institute curriculum coordinator Rachel Hendrix said. “Scores range from 1 to 5. A score of 3 or higher is considered a qualifying score.”
Hendrix said most colleges award college credit to students who receive a 3 or higher on their AP exams.
According to Hendrix, Bradwell offers 12 advanced-placement courses: calculus, statistics, English literature, English language, microeconomics, U.S. government and politics, U.S. history, European history, biology, chemistry, physics and environmental science.
Liberty County High School Principal Paula Scott said LCHS offers eight AP courses: biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, calculus AB, U.S. history, government, and literature and composition.
“Next year, we plan to add AP language and composition,” she said. “The curriculum for an AP class is determined by the College Board. They are very rigorous courses, and the workload is much heavier than for a regular course. The textbook used in these courses is a college text, and the syllabus for the course must be submitted in advance and approved by the College Board. It truly is a college class taken in a high-school setting.”
Scott said she and her faculty were pleased LCHS again was named an AP access and support school.
“I think it is very important that all students who desire a challenge are able to take AP courses and succeed in them,” she said.

 

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