EBRPSS High Schools See Rising Student Participation, Success on Advanced Placement Tests

Press Release Jan. 1 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Department of Education spring 2015 Advanced Placement exam results show significant gains for East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) in both the number of students taking advanced placement tests and the level of student success.

Student success on AP tests is generally measured by students attaining a 3 or better, which is the score at which most universities begin to award college credit.

In 2014, 764 EBRPSS students took AP tests. That number increased 24.9 percent to 954 students tested in the spring of 2015.

The number of students scoring 3 or better increased from 42.8 in 2014 percent to 47.4 percent in 2015. McKinley High School ranked among highest percentage of students scoring 3 or better in the district, and had an increase of 21.1 percent in students meeting the mark.

Woodlawn High School saw an 80 percent increase in the number of tests taken and 77.4 percent increase in the total number of students tested.

“We want to offer as many courses as we can while still maintaining the quality of those course offerings,” explained Woodlawn Principal Scott Stevens. He says his teachers focus on having students set a goal of earning the college credit and have experienced success with a wider group of students. “We have a lot of kids that you wouldn’t expect to take AP tests do very well on them,” Stevens said.

Baton Rouge Magnet High School saw an increase of 21.1 percent in the total number of tests taken. “By offering the Springboard curriculum in the ninth graStede and providing our teachers with high quality professional development, more students at Baton Rouge Magnet High School are taking AP classes and tests earning higher scores,” said Principal Nanette McCann.

“We are thankful for the Baton Rouge High Foundation for supporting our efforts in Advanced Placement by funding the Springboard program for the past six years and updating our science labs where our scores have continued to increase,” she continued.

Both McCann and Stevens emphasized the long term value the AP courses have for students by allowing them to maximize the use of scholarship funds. “For students and parents, this translates to advancement in college and saving money,” McCann said.

This was echoed by Jessica Runnels, mother of two recent graduates currently reaping the benefits of their AP experiences. Sierra, a Baton Rouge Magnet High graduate, is a sophomore at University of Georgia where she entered with 87 credit hours after taking 18 AP courses equating to two years of undergraduate work.

While at BRMHS, Sierra took a wide variety of courses including English III, Biology, US History, Calculus BC, English IV, European History, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Physics B, Statistics, and World History. Celeste took Psychology, Physics B, Latin, Calculus AB, English III AP, Chemistry, Statistics, US History, English IV, Environmental Science, French, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and World History.

For her daughters, Runnels says the credits have had many benefits including flexibility in the college experience, preparation for college work, and assistance with college admissions.

“There is no question that college admissions committees like to see AP work on the transcript along with solid scores on the exams. This combination shows them that the student is willing to do the hard work and also shows that they are learning at the college level. I am certain that their efforts and results on the AP exams was a part of why they received the many scholarship offers that they did,” Runnels said.

For more information, call 225-922-5425. To coordinate interviews, contact Adonica Duggan at 225-954-3670.

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