Vaca High to join in new College Board AP program – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville High is among some 1,000 schools worldwide to join in a College Board Advanced Placement program that focuses on inquiry, research and writing as a way to better prepare for college and the 21st-century workplace, it has been announced.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Principal Ed Santopadre, referring to Capstone, said, “I am excited to be a part of this innovative program that prepares a broader, more diverse student population ready for college and beyond.”

The first of the program’s two courses, AP Seminar, will start in fall 2017. The other course, taken in sequence, is AP Research.

The program comes in response to feedback from college-level educators and admission officers, and “complements” other AP courses and exams, Santopadre noted in the prepared statement.

 

Source: Vaca High to join in new College Board AP program

Vacaville Unified among districts hailed for boosting access to AP courses – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified has been placed on a national testing firm’s honor roll for achievement on Advanced Placement exams, district officials reported.

The College Board — an organization that prepares and administers standardized tests, such as the SAT, used in college admissions — listed the 12,300-student district on the 6th annual AP District Honor Roll.

Shared by 425 out of more than 13,500 school districts across the nation, the honor recognized the Vacaville district for increasing access to AP courses while, at the same time, maintaining or boosting the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

via Vacaville Unified among districts hailed for boosting access to AP courses.

California’s Progress in Advanced Placement Exams – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education)

SACRAMENTO—Annual Advanced Placement® (AP) results released today show that the number of California public high school graduates taking and passing AP courses continues to climb, with the number of graduates from low-income backgrounds taking at least one AP exam tripling, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced.

The 10-year anniversary (2003-13) “AP Report to the Nation” by The College Board shows that 40.6 percent of California’s public high school graduates in the Class of 2013 took an AP exam, compared to 25.3 percent of graduates in the Class of 2003. The number of Class of 2013 students in California taking an AP exam grew from 86,303 in 2003 to 152,647, an increase of 66,344. The number of low-income students taking an AP exam during the same period increased from 18,677 to 64,539, an increase of 45,862.

via California’s Progress in Advanced Placement Exams – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).

Low-Income Students Taking Advanced Tests – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education will be distributing nearly $10.8 million to pay Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test fees for more than 129,000 low-income eligible students.

via Low-Income Students Taking Advanced Tests – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).

The Educated Guess: More California students taking, passing AP exam

California students ranked in the top 10 nationwide for their passing rate on last year’s Advanced Placement exams. Nearly 145,000 high school seniors from the class of 2012, about 37 percent, took at least one AP test and nearly a quarter of them passed, according to the latest results released Wednesday by the College Board. AP tests are scored on a scale of one to five and students who earn a three or higher often receive college credit for class.

via More California students taking, passing AP exam – by Kathryn Baron.

CA Dept of Education: Advanced Placement Results for 2011-12

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today he is encouraged by the growing percentage of California high school graduates both taking and passing end-of-course Advanced Placement® (AP) exams that give high-school students a taste of college-level work.

“More of our high school students are challenging themselves by enrolling in college-level courses, and more of them meeting that challenge by passing these Advanced Placement exams,” Torlakson said. “These results reflect the high value California students and families place on being ready for college—and the increasing success our students and schools are having in achieving that goal.”

via Advanced Placement Results for 2011-12.

KQED MindShift: Is it Time to Reconsider AP Classes?

By Katrina Schwartz

Advanced Placement courses have long been the standard for high achievement in high school. The classes are modeled on college courses and are meant to represent the difficulty and breadth of material that students are expected to handle when they get to college. For that reason, some colleges give in-coming freshman credits or allow them to pass out of introductory courses if they score a three or above on the AP test (it’s scored from one to five).

In many schools, AP classes are more popular than ever, as students seek a leg up in the competitive college admissions process. But now, some of the most elite schools in the country are opting out of the AP frenzy, saying they can design better and more rigorous courses on their own that won’t force them to adhere to someone else’s curriculum and timeline and force teachers to teach to the test. And, instead of replicating a college level course in high school, they say they can go one better – partnering with local colleges so their students get the real deal.

via Is it Time to Reconsider AP Classes?.

The Educated Guess: California students’ improvement on AP exams deserves more attention

By Michael Kirst

There is some good news in California student achievement trends. High performers, as measured by passage of the Advanced Placement exam, are increasing, and rank very high in interstate comparisons.

AP is college level work in high school, and indicates that students attending California’s most selective colleges are better prepared than ever. This positive trend is obscured by national studies, like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), that do not focus on the highest achieving students when making interstate and racial/ethnic comparisons. In California, Hispanic growth in both taking and passing the AP exam is especially impressive.

According to the the Eighth Annual AP Report to the Nation, 23.4 percent of California’s 2011 public school graduates were successful on one or more AP exams – seventh highest in the nation. Overall, 19 states’ graduates exceeded the national average by scoring 3 or higher, out of 5, on one or more exams during their high school careers. Maryland was number one, with 27.9 percent. The U.S. average is 18.1 percent. This high national ranking for California does not receive the public attention that it deserves in a sea of negative reports on state education.

via California students’ improvement on AP exams deserves more attention – by Michael Kirst.

Daily Republic: Fairfield High students monitor health of Rolling Hills creek

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield High School senior Daniele Theobald scrambled up the steep, vegetation-covered bank of a creek in the Rolling Hills subdivision, the end of a tape measure in her hands.

The distance across the creek bed is 75 feet. It took some work to find out, but Theobold said she didn’t mind.

“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “I love being outdoors.”

Just a few minutes earlier, senior Karina Ramirez had put her hands into the few inches of water flowing in the creek. She rubbed the algae and muck, loosening tiny invertebrates to flow into a net held by another student.

via Fairfield High students monitor health of Rolling Hills creek.

Vallejo Times-Herald: Vallejo students plunge into creek, collect scientific data

By Lanz Christian Bañes

Jesse Bethel High School students got a little dirty Tuesday — for the sake of science, of course.

“When I got up this morning, I did not think I would be in a creek rubbing rocks,” said Jace Guerrero, a 16-year-old junior.

Jace and his Advanced Placement Biology class joined four other Bethel classes Tuesday to assess the health of Blue Rock Springs Creek in nearby Hanns Memorial Park.

via Vallejo students plunge into creek, collect scientific data.

Daily Republic: Advanced Placement courses surges as tool for schools raising standards

Not long ago, Advanced Placement exams were mostly for top students looking to challenge themselves and get a head start on college credit. Not anymore.

In the next two weeks, 2 million students will take 3.7 million end-of-year AP exams figures well over double those from a decade ago. With no national curriculum, AP has become the de facto gold standard for high school rigor. States and high schools are pushing AP classes and exams as a way to raise standards across the board, in some cases tying AP to bonuses. And the federal government is helping cover the exam fees.

via AP surges as tool for schools raising standards.