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Georgia is a Leader in Advanced Placement

MEDIA CONTACTS - GaDOE Communications Office: (404) 463-1487,   - Governor's Press Office: (404) 651-7774  February 13, 2008 -- More Georgia students than ever are taking rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) classes and scoring well on the AP exams, according to a national report released today.   "Georgia is a national leader in improving AP access and success," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "Our students are showing the state and the country that they want to be challenged and that they are up to the task."   "Once again, Georgia students continue to shine when compared with the rest of the nation in AP participation and performance on AP exams," said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Georgia’s global competitiveness depends on setting high expectations for our students. These rankings demonstrate that in Georgia, AP courses are not just for the top two percent of students, but are accessible to the majority.”   The Annual "AP Report to the Nation," released by the College Board Wednesday, also shows that Georgia has one of the highest rates of participation among minority students.   "Georgia has made a commitment to making sure every student has access to AP classes," Superintendent Cox said. "Working with the legislature, we are increasing AP teacher training, paying for students to take AP exams and offering more AP classes through our Georgia Virtual School. This is having a big impact."   Advanced Placement classes and exams are administered by the College Board and 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.    Growth Continues    More than 43,000 public school students took at least one AP exam in 2006-2007, a 14.4 percent increase over the previous school year. Since 2003, the number of students taking at least one AP exam has jumped nearly 84 percent.   Georgia students took a total of 67,739 AP exams in 2006-2007, an increase of over 8,000 exams from the previous year. Since 2003, the number of exams taken has almost doubled.   Despite the dramatic growth in participation, the percentage of exams receiving a score of 3 or higher has remained fairly steady, between 53 and 57 percent.    A National Leader    For the first time this year, the College Board has released a new statistic for AP: The percentage of seniors that scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during their high school years.   The College Board reports that 15.3 percent of Georgia's 2007 High School Seniors got a 3, 4 or 5 on at least one AP exam during their high school years. That puts Georgia at 15th in the nation.   Also, the report shows that 9.4 percent of Georgia's African-American high school seniors scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam. This was third highest in the nation.   While Georgia continues to see strong growth in participation, there are still many students who are not taking advantage of AP classes. The College Board report shows that thousands of Georgia students that could successfully take AP classes are not doing so.   "What the report shows is that we have many more students who are capable of college-level work while still in high school," Superintendent Cox said. "We have to help our schools recruit these students into the challenge of an AP program."    State Efforts to Increase AP Participation    The State of Georgia has undertaken many 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 a year. Economically disadvantaged students can have all of their AP exams paid for each year. Governor Perdue has requested this funding in his 2008-2009 budget.    - The Georgia Department of Education has organized the distribution of AP Teacher Quality Training Grants. This past summer the GaDOE offered grants to 60 teachers to attend training on effective teaching of AP classes. In the past two years, more than 200 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.    - The Governor's Office of Student Achievement has secured a $500,000 grant to increase access to AP to all students in selected schools.   AP CHARTS   AP REPORT TO THE NATION  (College Board Website)  Georgia Recognizes AP Honor Schools