Alabama has a No. 1 ranking and it isn’t in football but education attainment. The state ranks No. 1 in the percentage of student growth in achieving qualifying scores on math, science, and English Advanced Placement exams, Governor Robert Bentley, A + College Ready, and State School Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice announced today.
Over the last six years, AP scores have increased 136 percent, with even higher percentage increases in math, science, and English qualifying scores for minority students. Their growth rate was 232 percent compared with a national increase of 110 percent. That ranks Alabama No. 1 among 39 states with significant minority populations in percentage increases for minorities.
Governor Bentley said AP College Ready is a good investment that helps prepare students for college-level courses and their careers.
“Alabama students are succeeding in AP classes at unprecedented rates,” Governor Bentley said. “It is a good day when we see so many of our students from different backgrounds succeeding in AP courses.”
The No. 1 ranking was announced during a Capitol ceremony.
Dr. Bice said he is encouraged that more students will take AP classes. “We are proud to be part of the successful AP program, which has resulted in thousands of students across the state being offered the opportunity and access to academically challenging and inspiring courses,” Dr. Bice sad.
The report includes the number of AP tests passed since 2008, the year the AP Training and Incentive Program began in Alabama. Attaining a qualifying score means that a student did well enough to earn college credit.
The goal of the joint program sponsored by the by the state Department of Education and A + College Ready is to increase the number of students passing AP exams and succeeding in college.
The Legislature and the private sector funded the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program, starting with a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative.
Private supporters include Business Council of Alabama members Alabama Power Foundation, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Regions Inc., and other corporations, foundations, and individuals.
The funding provides teacher training, support from master teachers, and $100 stipends for teachers and students, A + said. The program is in 118 schools in 54 districts this school year.
The AP initiative works closely with the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative and the Alabama Reading Initiative to assist Alabama students in meeting the state’s College and Career Ready Standards.
“These initiatives, which are supported by the BCA and its members, are an important component of all-encompassing education efforts to increase the knowledge and experience of Alabama’s students who will be the next generation of work-ready employees that business will need in order to continue to succeed and prosper,” said William Canary, President and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.
The AP program by the 114-year-old College Board enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school, with the opportunity to earn college credit, said the College Board, a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.
– Dana Beyerle