Headlines in the Midlands
District AP Participation Increases, Scores Remain Low
South Carolina ranks 21st in the nation for students scoring proficient on an AP Exam at 16.5 percent, slightly short of the national average of 18.1 percent. South Carolina students in the class of 2011 took 28,392 exams with 55.6 percent of exams scored as proficient.
The trend data comparing 2001 scores to 2011 scores showed that while South Carolina is improving in the percentage of test-takers scoring proficient, other states have had a greater growth rate. South Carolina improved by 4.7 percent in the past 10 years while Maryland experienced the greatest growth rate, improving by 13.1 percent. The average rate of growth for the United States was 7.3 percent.
In terms of access to the exam, South Carolina has seen marked growth. For the class of 2011, 10,149 graduates participated in AP-level courses last year, a 67 percent increase from 2001. The largest achievement gaps between those graduating and graduates who took an AP exam were amongst African American and low income students. Overrepresented were Asian/Pacific Islander and White student subgroups.
South Carolina boasted nine districts in which 30 percent or more of the class of 2011 participated in at least one AP exam, up from seven districts in 2010. Eighty districts, however, had less than 20 percent of its graduating class score proficient on at least one AP exam.
Of the 10 most popular AP exams, South Carolina students performed the best on Psychology (70.7 percent) and European History (67.2 percent) exams. Students were least proficient in the United States Government and Politics exam (47.7 percent) and the Calculus AB exam (49.2 percent).
Since 1984, South Carolina has paid for AP instructional materials, paid students’ test fees and offered specialized training for teachers. Every student enrolled in an AP course is required to take the test.
For district and school level data, please visit this link: http://ed.sc.gov/data/national-assessments/documents/2011AP.pdf
For the College Board’s AP Report to the Nation, please visit this link: http://apreport.collegeboard.org/