Originally posted at 4:39 p.m. Feb. 12, 2014. Edited to add quote from the Los Alamitos Unified School District superintendent.
Six of Orange County’s 15 school districts which serve high school students have been placed on the College Board’s “AP Honor Roll.”
The distinction means the districts are increasing access to AP classes while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning passing scores of 3 or higher on the AP test.
“Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work,” according to the College Board, which administers the exams.
The six Orange County districts that achieved those goals in 2013 are Los Alamitos Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine Unified, Santa Ana Unified and Tustin Unified. The first three have high schools in Patch towns.
"This is an honor in which we are all very proud," said Los Al Superintendent Sherry Kropp. "We know that increasing access and passage rates on AP exams is a strong indicator that we are preparing all students for success following high school graduation in whatever college or career path they choose."
Missing on the list from Patch towns are Capistrano Unified, Laguna Beach Unified and Newport-Mesa Unified.
The College Board says more high school students than ever are taking AP classes and passing AP tests, in a recent “report card” to the nation.
Nationwide, more than 1 million students took AP tests last year, up about 100 percent since 2003. Of those million, 60 percent scored a three or higher, according to the College Board. These days, one in five public school high school graduates have scored a three or better on an AP test.
In California, 26.9 percent of the Class of 2013 took and passed an AP exam during their high school career. That’s above the national average of 20.1 and ranks the state six in the nation.
“It’s important to recognize that not only are more and more students feeling equipped to tackle these college-level courses, but that more and more of them are succeeding,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, in a press release. “Along with their schools and families, they are working hard to be ready for college, and I’m glad to see the numbers continue to climb.”
According to the College Board, students who score a three or higher on AP tests are more likely to get better grades in college, are more likely to finish college and in faster time than their counterparts.