The following is a press release from the West Chester Area School District.
The West Chester Area School District has been named as one of the few public school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on the 3rd Annual AP Honor Roll. This award is presented each year to districts that are able to expand access to Advanced Placement courses to a more diverse group of learners while simultaneously improving performance. The designation is earned for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
Just 539 school districts achieved this distinction in 2012. Among the criteria used by the College Board for inclusion in the AP Achievement District Honor Roll, the increase in access to Advanced Placement courses must be at least six percent in a district such as the WCASD that is designated as “medium size.”
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jim Scanlon, said, “We are extremely proud to be recognized by the College Board for the second year in a row. Our staff, in collaboration with our parents, works very hard to challenge all students to reach the next level of achievement. This is another indicator that we are headed in the right direction to help all students.”
Over the past three years, the West Chester Area School District has increased the number of students participating in the Advanced Placement program from 917 in 2010 to more than 1,000 AP students in 2012. This was accomplished as the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher was sustained at a remarkable 80 percent over that time period.
Performance levels must be maintained or improved when comparing the percentage of exams scoring 3+ from 2010 to 2012. In addition, the percentage of exams taken by student subgroups made up of African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American students must not decrease by more than 10 percenr.
The number of students taking AP courses is important, because the majority of U.S. colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for a score of 3 or above on AP exams. Achieving both goals of expanding access and improving performance indicates that the WCASD is successfully identifying motivated, academically-prepared students who are likely to benefit most from Advanced Placement coursework.