Thursday, June 11, 2015


In the last post, we wrote about expanding AP test numbers in the Boise District, and about the fact that the number of sophomores taking exams has exploded, going from 74 to 324 in the space of four year, an increase of over 400% in student participation.

So, since this is a new phenomenon for Boise, we got to wondering: how are the 10th graders doing on the AP exams? The answer: just fine.

As we indicated in the last post, the highest participation by sophomores in AP testing has on two exams - Human Geography and World History. In fact, 280 of the 407 exams (69%) taken in 2014 by Boise sophomores were for those two tests.

Boise 10th graders took 131 Human Geography exams, 73% of the state total (181). Boise sophomores took 149 World History exams, 38% of the state total (383). It's worth noting that Boise's student population is about 9% of Idaho's total student population.

As previously noted, Advanced Placement exams are scored on a 1-5 scale, with scores of 3, 4, and 5 eligible for college credit or course waiver. Here's a chart comparing the performance of Boise's 10th graders with overall performance in the Idaho and the nation:

Boise sophomores outperformed the nation on both exams, with 14% more students receiving a mark of "3" or better on the Human Geography exam, and 33% more attained those scores in World History. These two exams have pass rates that are lower the national AP program overall rate of 59%.

As the number of Boise District underclassmen (and women) taking AP exams has grown, these students continue to outperform the state and the nation, with the guidance and instruction provided our excellent, well-prepared teachers. It's gratifying to see that as more opportunities for rigor are offered to students earlier in their high school careers, they continue to show that they are up to the challenge.