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Indiana Improves AP Test Passage Rate, Still Lags Nation

Indiana students are improving their scores on advanced placement -- or AP -- tests, but the Hoosier State is still well below the national average.

Stonegate High School

Photo: Stonegate High School

Indian's AP passage rates have improved, but are still below the national average.

Students who pass AP tests receive college credit for their work.  One a scale of 1-5, 14-percent of Hoosier students scored a three or higher in 2011.  That’s up more than one-and-a-half percent from 2010 and sets a record for the state of Indiana.  The national passage rate, however, is 18 percent.  State Superintendent Tony Bennett wants the passage rate to be at least 25%.  Only 25 schools met that benchmark this year.

Signature School in Evansville, recorded the highest pass rate in Indiana history at 90-percent – but the school has only about 75 kids per graduating class. School Executive Director Vicki Snyder, says officials try to minimize any distractions as the test dates approach each May.

“We have set very high standards and it is our belief that all students can be successful if they are willing to put the time and effort into it,” Snyder says.

Louis Jensen, director of high schools for New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation, says the AP pass rate saw a big jump at New Albany High School, increasing from just less than nine percent in 2008 to more than 15 percent last school year.

 

“The teachers establishing a relationship with the students and developing — working with them before and after school — Being trained in the area, keeping up with the content there going back to workshops, keeping themselves very updated and present with the current curriculum.  All that plays a big role,” Jensen says.

Indiana’s rate of improvement from 2010-2011 was the second largest in the country.

  • Patrickmattimore1

    There are a couple of problems with this story. First, students who “pass” AP exams may or may not receive college credit. Credit decisions are made by specific universities and more specifically departments within those schools, not by the College Board. Second, a “3″(out of 5) is what everyone refers to as a pass, but again that’s up to individual colleges.
    It’s also important to understand the context for what is meant by the statement that Indiana has improved its test passage rate. The passing percentages are not based only upon people who actually took an AP exam but the arbitrary category of graduating seniors. Fourteen percent of Hoosier students scoring a 3 or above is therefore a percentage derived from all graduating students, whether or not they took an AP exam. The actual passing percentage of students scoring a 3 or above in Indiana (based on actual test takers) was 45% in 2011 and 43% in 2010. The national percentage in 2011 was 58%.

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