CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ More West Virginia public school students are taking college-level Advanced Placement (AP) courses than ever before, according to a national report released Wednesday.
The Fourth Annual AP Report to the Nation, published by the College Board, shows that 2,512 public school students, or about 15.2 percent of the Class of 2007, took at least one Advanced Placement exam during high school. That compares to 1,835 students, or about 10.7 percent, who took the exams in 2002. 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 digital world of the 21st century.”
In terms of volume, West Virginia students outpaced the nation. Statistically, most states see a drop in performance as participation increases. Not so in West Virginia, according to the report.
The report shows that a record number of West Virginia students are scoring higher after completing AP courses and taking the corresponding exam. The number of West Virginia students scoring a three or higher has increased from 886 or 5.2 percent in 2002 to 1,149 or 7 percent last year.
The report also cited West Virginia for its efforts to facilitate and fund teacher participation in AP and pre-AP professional development and for the state’s commitment to college readiness for all students. 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 its 21st Century Skills initiative, 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’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.