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AP Report: Georgia is 15th in Nation

MEDIA CONTACT:  - GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487,  - Get GaDOE Media Updates on  Twitter    AP REPORT TO THE NATION      February 4, 2009 -- Georgia is 15th in the nation when it comes to students who have success in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, according to a national study released today.     The College Board's AP Report to the Nation shows that, in 2008, Georgia had the 15th highest percentage of high school seniors score a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. The report also showed that the percentage of Georgia students taking AP classes is higher than the nation.     "Georgia is a national leader in AP participation and success," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "More Georgia students than ever are challenging themselves with AP's rigorous coursework and are successfully mastering the material and passing the exams."     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 2008 High School seniors. Among Georgia's public high school seniors in 2008:     - 16.3 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school. That is higher than the national average of 15.2 percent.     - The percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam grew by 1.2 percentage points, tied for 9th highest in the nation.     - Just over 30 percent took at least one AP exam during high school, higher than the national average of 25 percent.    AP Growth Among All Students      Just over 50,000 Georgia students in all grades took at least one AP exam in 2007-2008, an increase of more than 16 percent from the previous year. Georgia's AP population continues to get more diverse as well, with more African-American and Hispanic students taking the rigorous classes.     "Our schools and school systems recognize that one of the best ways to close the achievement gap is to challenge all students with rigorous work and high expectations," Superintendent Cox said. "The AP Report to the Nation makes it clear that our schools are doing just that. We have work left to be done, but we are making tremendous progress."     During the 2007-2008 school year, more than 10,200 African-American public school students (all grades) took an AP exam. That's an increase of more than 18 percent from the previous year and represents more than 10 percent of all public school African-American test-takers nationwide. There were 2,651 Hispanic students (all grades) that took at least one AP exam in 2007-2008, an increase of more than 35 percent from the previous year.     According to the AP Report to the Nation, among Georgia's high school seniors:     - More than 22 percent of students who took an AP exam in 2007-2008 were African-American, an increase of more than two percentage points from the previous year.     - 10.5 percent of Georgia's African-American high school seniors scored 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. That is third in the nation, and seven points higher than the national average.     - About 5.5 percent of Georgia's AP test takers were Hispanic, an increase of more than one percentage point from the previous year and higher than Georgia's overall Hispanic student population (4.9 percent).    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:     - At the request of Governor Perdue and Superintendent Cox, the Legislature has approved money to pay for students to take one AP exam per year. Economically-disadvantaged students can have all of their AP exams paid for each year.     - The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has organized the distribution of AP Teacher Quality Training Grants. In the past three years, nearly 400 AP teachers have been trained through state grants.     - The Georgia Virtual School 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 2007-2008, 679 students enrolled in 19 different AP courses through Georgia Virtual School.     - The GaDOE has sponsored regional workshops for teachers of AP in the fall for the past two years. These workshops are led by master teachers of AP in Georgia high schools. To date, 1,067 AP teachers have participated in these content-specific workshops.