State and local AP scores spike - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

State and local AP scores spike

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(KYTX) - More Texas high school students, including East Texas, are passing Advanced Placement exams than ever before. 

That's the word from a recent report from College Board, which administers AP tests.

The study shows that 18.5 percent of Texas high school students passed one or more AP exam last year. That's just below the national average, which is 20.1 percent.

Some East Texas districts are knocking that percentage out of the park. In 2013, Robert E. Lee had 51 percent of students pass one or more AP tests. John Tyler had 29.3 percent pass, and

and Whitehouse High School had 43 percent pass. 

This new information has surprised Tyler's Sylvan Learning Center Director Bill Martin. 

"It actually did! All you ever hear is how much Texas struggles with education and we see that a lot here," Martin says.

So the big question is, why are more students passing?

Martin agrees with the College Board, which says more kids are being directed by teachers, counselors and parents to take the AP classes.

The College Board study shows the number of Texas AP students has tripled since 2003. 

Martin has noticed more AP students come in for tutoring, especially since last year, as competition to get into college gets more fierce.

"Parents are trying to give their kids that competitive edge to get into a college and a college of their choice," Martin says.

He says if AP classes and test scores set students apart, parents and educators may be putting more emphasis on them.

"Kids in public school, they're competing against kids in private school, competing against kids from all over the US, even all over the world," Martin says. 

Texas AP scores are now the 19th best nationwide. Martin says we may have a long way to go but at least we're moving in the right direction. 

There are no hard facts that can show us the exact reason for this increase in passing scores, but another possibility has to do with curriculum, and teachers perhaps teaching specifically for AP tests. 

That College Board report also shows that half of Texas AP exam test takers are now from low income families. That's a huge jump from years past. 

 

 

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