Jefferson County Public Schools is constantly on the pattern up-wards in the number of learners enrolled in Advanced Placement Courses and taking the associated examinations. In JCPS, about half of the AP assessments taken obtained ratings that allow learners to earn higher education and learning credit at many higher education and learning institutions, an advantage of the advanced placement course program, but the passing rate dropped this season after several years of benefits.
JCPS authorities say that is likely because the region has targeted on increasing the advanced placement course contribution of learners and now, it’ll need to focus on issues such as instructor planning that support learning within those programs. “Kids cannot do well on the test unless they take the class,” says Pam Royster, the district’s higher education and learning and career ready professional. The number of learners taking AP examinations improved 4.2% last school year from 4,952 this year to 5,160 in 2013. The number of assessments taken (one college student can be registered in several AP programs and take several AP exams) also improved 3.6% from 7,762 the season before to 8,043. But the passing rate reduced by 1.9 percentage points to 47.8% in 2013.
“We’ve definitely got some work to do to make sure we’re covering the content and we’re going deeply enough for kids to be successful on the test,” Royster says. Last school year, JCPS signed up with the state-wide Advance Kentucky effort that helps provide training and resources to instructors and schools to increase the number of AP contribution. That program has been recognized by the state and region as having had a significant effect on AP enhancement. Last year, Valley, Moore and Waggener high schools started participating in the Advance Kentucky. Fern Creek, Southern and Seneca high schools signed up with them this year. The system, says Royster, is a multi-year effort to develop instructors and supports, so it could take time to see its effect.