West Virginia Students Are Better Prepared For College

January 26, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - The number of West Virginia students demonstrating college-level mastery of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school continues to improve according to the AP Report to the Nation 2005 published by the College Board. West Virginia had a 1.8 percent increase in the number of students who scored at mastery level in an AP course in 2004.  

“The AP report validates that what we are doing in West Virginia to prepare our students to continue their education is working,” said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart. “We have not reached our final goal but I am confident that we are on the right track.”  

The report also indicates that a record number of West Virginia students are enrolled in AP courses and successfully complete AP exams. West Virginia had a 4.6 percent increase in the number of students taking the AP exam in 2004. In addition, West Virginia ranks 23rd in the nation in percent of students who enroll in college with a demonstrated mastery for college based on an AP performance of three or better.  

“Research studies such as Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor's Degree Attainment published by the U.S. Department of Education have shown that students who enroll in AP classes and take AP exams are much more likely to be successful in college,” said Stewart. West Virginia continues to work to close the equity gap among traditionally underserved students. According to the recent report, the equity gap has been eliminated for the small percentage of Latino and Native American students who reside in the state. Also, West Virginia has a 3.7 percent African-American population and 1.3 percent of AP examinees were African-American.  

The West Virginia Department of Education is working with the state’s Center for Professional Development to submit a comprehensive proposal to the U.S. Department of Education to raise academic standards and increase the number of students who participate and succeed in AP programs in schools that have greater than 40% disadvantaged, minority and underachieving students. This project would establish an academically rigorous curriculum of pre-AP and AP courses from grades 6-12 in 28 schools in nine targeted counties in West Virginia.  

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