Sunday, March 2, 2014

Advanced Placement in Idaho Schools

Advanced Placement classes are rigorous, college-level classes taught by certified high school teachers and audited by the College Board. The vast majority of colleges and universities offer credit and/or waivers for particular scores on Advanced Placement exams, and the College Board maintains a site where students and parents can see AP credit policies of each college/university. Each of Boise's traditional high schools offers at least 23 Advanced Placement courses.

AP exams are administered in the first two weeks of May each school year. They are scored in a central location by teachers using a rubric provided by the College Board. The AP exam scoring scale is 1-5, with scores of 3, 4, and 5 considered as eligible for college credit for the course.

Here is the distribution of AP exams taken by students in districts across the state of Idaho.

With just over 9% of Idaho's student population, Boise students took over a third of the state AP exams in 2012-13. Meridian and Boise students took over half of the state exams. Here are the largest number of exams given in Idaho districts.

However, since Boise and Meridian are the largest districts in the state, the charts above do not accurately reflect participation rates. Since juniors and seniors take most of the AP exams, here is a chart showing the highest rates of AP participation among juniors and seniors across the state.

When viewed in terms of junior and senior participation, McCall and Blaine County, two relatively small Idaho districts, have the highest rates, along with Boise. Five other districts are above 20% participation.

Finally, what about the percentage of exams taken across in the state that are eligible for college credit? Madison and Sandpoint had the highest passing percentages in 2012-13. Sandpoint gave 156 exams, and Madison 117.