Story Category: Local Schools »
Advanced Placement Enrollment Up in St. Mary's
Leonardtown, MD - 8/10/2012
By Dick Myers
St. Mary’s County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano is pleased with the success of the system’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program and boasted about it at the school board’s August 8 meeting.
A Power Pont Presentation given by Martirano shows that the system is having some success with a new program that now only pays for the $86 cost of the AP test for those who score a 3 or higher. The 3 score is a requirement of some colleges to give credit for the AP courses. Before the policy change for the school year just passed, the school system paid the test cost for everyone who took the test, even those who might not have taken the test seriously. “It was a wonderful decision in terms of shift in policy,” the superintendent said of the change that saved the school system $100,000 the first year.
Martirano’s report to the school board shows that 107 more students are signed up for AP courses in the coming school year, or 2508 students. Only Chopticon is showing a slight decline. Chopticon, however, has seen almost a doubling of AP students since 2009
Although fewer students took the AP exam (a 599 student decline) in the school year just concluded, there was an overall 19-percent increase in the number of students achieving the 3 or better score, with all three high schools experiencing at least an 18-ercent increase. Students receiving a 1 or 2 in the test declined by 644 and students scoring a 4 or 5 increased by 69.
Martirano said, “Even if students opt not to take the AP exam at the end of the course, they have still experienced the rigor of the course and had this reflected on their high school transcript.”
According to the school system's web site: “All students should have the opportunity to pursue more challenging academic opportunities. The advanced placement courses are designed to provide the highly able student with more complex and rigorous academic content, comparable to the demands of college level course work.”
The following advanced placement courses are offered to students.
AP English 11/12 - Language and Composition
AP English 11/12 - Literature and Composition
AP Studio Art - Two-Dimensional Design Portfolio
AP Calculus - AB
AP Studio Art - Three-Dimensional Design Portfolio
AP Calculus - BC
AP Art History
AP World History
AP Studio Art - Drawing Portfolio
AP United States Government and Politics
AP Music Theory
AP United States History
AP Spanish Language
AP Physics B
AP French Language
AP Computer Science
AP Environmental Science
The website says: “The program also provides the opportunity to earn college credit or its equivalent through the advanced placement testing program. Students enrolled in advanced placement courses are required to take the corresponding advanced placement examination of the College Entrance Examination Board. Although not all colleges and universities grant credit for qualifying grades on advanced placement examinations, over 400 institutions do grant credit. Since there are much greater demands placed on those students who enroll in advanced placement courses, it is appropriate to establish a grading system that is commensurate with the nature of effort required. Therefore, advanced placement grades will be weighted according to A = 5, B = 4, C = 3, D = 1, and F = 0.”
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