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More W.Va. Students Taking Advanced Placement Courses

February 07, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The number of West Virginia public school students taking college-level Advanced Placement courses has nearly doubled since 2001, according to a national report released Tuesday.  

The AP Report to the Nation 2007, published by the College Board, shows that 3,438 public school students took an Advanced Placement exam, compared to 2,329 in 2001, an increase of about 48 percent.  

From 2005 to 2006, participation increased 13 percent, compared to about 10 percent nationally. The number of exams taken by high school students in West Virginia also increased by nearly 16 percent from 2005 to 2006. English is the most common AP course taken by West Virginia students.  

“The AP report validates that we are on the right track in West Virginia to prepare our students to continue their education,” State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. "But we also know that we have not reached our final goal if future graduates are to be prepared for the 21st century.”  

The report also indicates that a record number of West Virginia students are scoring higher after completing AP courses and taking the corresponding exam. Since 2001, the number of West Virginia students scoring a three or higher has increased by about 32 percent, from 1,808 to 2,382 last year.  

The West Virginia Center for Professional Development is responsible for training educators to teach Advanced Placement courses.  

"We're obviously proud of our students and teachers," Paine said.  

Encouraging more students to enroll in Advanced Placement courses is just one step the West Virginia Department of Education is taking to increase rigor in the 21st century. As part of the system-wide implementation of 21st century learning, the Department also has aligned its Content Standards and Objectives with 21st century skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, global awareness and business literacy.  

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education at (304) 558-2699.  

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