Indiana

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In One Graphic, How Indiana’s AP Exam Scores Stack Up With Its Neighbors

This graphic shows the distribution of Indiana students' scores on the AP exams they took relative to the states that border Indiana.

Screenshot from College Board / Edited by StateImpact

This graphic shows the distribution of Indiana students' scores on the AP exams they took relative to the states that border Indiana.

More than twice as many Indiana students took an Advanced Placement exam in 2013 than in 2003, but the percentage of the state’s students scoring high enough to earn college credit still lags the national average.

That’s one takeaway from a report released Tuesday by officials at the organization that administers AP tests to high schoolers across the country.

The graphic above tells much of the story: smaller proportions of Indiana students are earning scores of 3, 4 or 5 on the exam — the scores that are generally good enough for college credit — than in neighboring Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan or Ohio.

The part of the story the graphic does not tell, however, is that larger percentages of Hoosier high schoolers are taking AP exams than in the four states bordering Indiana.

Indiana students who take an Advanced Placement course and the corresponding AP test earn credit toward their Core 40 high school diploma, which has become the minimum admissions requirement for the state’s four-year colleges.

The College Board report also shows 16.2 percent of Indiana’s 2013 high school graduates scored a 3 or better on an AP exam during high school. (The national rate: 20.1 percent in 2013.)

Here’s another interesting graphic — Indiana’s AP test results broken down by exam. The state’s most popular exams, somewhat unsurprisingly, have some of the lowest scores.

Indiana's AP exam results broken down by test.

Screenshot / College Board

Indiana's AP exam results broken down by test.

Comments

  • Karynb9

    When school accountability in Indiana is based on AP scores (because “college readiness” is apparently measured by success in college-level courses while still in high school — it’s like giving a 2nd grader the 3rd grade end-of-year ISTEP test and judging him to not be “ready” for 3rd grade if he doesn’t pass it in March of his 2nd grade year), you’re going to have students shoved into classes they don’t belong in in the hopes that they’ll score at or above a certain level on a final test. The problem is that the vast majority of these students who score at the 1 or 2 level on these tests (so over 50% of students placed in AP English Literature and Composition) don’t really belong in that class and probably got little out of it. However, while sitting in that class where they can barely absorb the information presented, they likely missed out on an opportunity to take a non-AP class like English 12 or English 12 Honors that would have been at an appropriate level to teach them and stretch them and truly get them “college ready.” An alarming number of kids in Indiana need remediation of high school content in college because they weren’t GIVEN four years of high school content in the first place — they were maybe given three years of high school content and pushed into a college-level course their senior year that they weren’t ready for.

    • Jorfer88

      Yea, appropriate education; that would require the system stop trying to fit round pegs in square holes. Maybe it’s the lawmakers that missed out on a preschool education.

      • indyscott

        Why would you blame the lawmakers on this? Isn’t it the schools (administration and teachers) that are making these decisions? Every school has guidance counselors who are there to help determine the right path for each student.

        • Julie

          Lawmakers insist that schools be graded. One measure for high schools is “college and career readiness”, which includes the number of students passing an AP course. High schools put more and more students in these courses as mentioned in other comments.

        • Jorfer88

          In theory, guidance counselors and teachers would be getting a say, but most of the time guidance counselor’s hands are tied (and teachers are completely ignored) by administration whose hands are tied by accountability (the old grading system incorporated a college readiness scores and we don’t even know what the new one will be), insistent parents that don’t understand the demands of the class (and even get prerequisites ignored, puzzling the teachers), and the need to place (mostly transient) students into non-full classes that fit with their schedules.

        • Jorfer88

          In theory, guidance counselors and teachers would be getting a say, but most of the time guidance counselor’s hands are tied (and teachers are completely ignored) by administration whose hands are tied by accountability (the old grading system incorporated a college readiness scores and we don’t even know what the new one will be), insistent parents that don’t understand the demands of the class (and even get prerequisites ignored, puzzling the teachers), massive counselor demands (from high student to counselor ratios to testing to ELL), and the need to place (mostly transient) students into non-full classes that fit with their schedules. Also, as far as the more general problem of students in unsuitable classes, there is a bill in the legislature to create a technical and vocational degree, but for years the legislature has been pushing Core 40 degrees, which leave little wiggle room as far as certain required classes. Instead of finding classes students are interested in and focusing on how different school subject fit in, they require classes with generic standards that end up having a low appeal to almost everyone.

    • indyscott

      Is there extra funding to the school for each student that takes an AP class?

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