According to the latest statistics from the Kentucky Department of Education, the number of high school students taking at least one Advanced Placement class each semester has risen each year statewide since 2007.
George Rogers Clark High School has seen a dramatic increase in the number of its students taking AP classes, especially in the last four years.
In the 2009-10 school year, 408 GRC students took at least one AP class. The number rose to 682 students in 2011-12, and this year, 887 students — more than twice the number in 2009 — are enrolled in AP classes, with many taking multiple classes.
GRC Principal David Bolen said that he knew there were more students taking AP classes but the exact number was somewhat of a surprise.
“It does surprise me a little bit. I knew there were more kids getting in it, but when I look at the numbers, even from last year, it has grown more than I thought,” Bolen said. “To me it is phenomenal that we have 200 more taking AP classes this year than last. But the bigger number is looking at it from where it was four years ago, from 408 to 887 this year. It’s really opened it up.”
GRC has expanded the number of AP classes it offers over the last few years and now has 17 course offerings, many of which have multiple classes.
The Advanced Placement Program, governed by The College Board, enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Based on their performance on rigorous AP exams, students can earn credit, advanced placement or both for college.
Statewide nearly 44 percent of students taking AP classes take the end-of-year exams. Of those, 75 percent scoring a passing grade of 3, 4 or 5 on the tests.
The number of GRC students taking the AP tests has also risen as has the number of students passing the tests.
In 2011-12, GRC students passed AP exams in impressive numbers in many classes according to statistics released by The College Board.
All 80 students in David Parks’ calculus classes took and passed the AP exam, something very few classes across the state achieved. Seventy-five percent of the students in AP European history passed the exam, 69 percent in AP statistics and 67 percent of those taking the music B exam passed, while 56 percent U.S. history, 50 percent of physics B students and 47 percent of human geography students passed the AP exams.
“They are not just taking the AP classes, they are excelling in them. And that’s what is exciting,” Bolen said. “We have been encouraging more of our students to take more rigorous classes, and they are responding and doing very well in them.”
The AP exams are given in May after students have finished with GRC’s end-of-course exams in other subjects.
Contact Bob Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.