The College Board, the nonprofit that created the Advanced Placement pre-college curriculum, has placed three metro Atlanta school districts on it Honor Roll for making strides in including ‘underrepresented’ students in AP classes and helping to ensure their success with passing scoress on the AP Exam. CONTRIBUTED

Three metro Atlanta school districts make AP Honor Roll

Ensuring equal access to the best education opportunities for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, financial status or physical ability is a hard-fought battle for “underrepresented” students. Increasingly more focus has been put on leveling the playing field.

The College Board, the nonprofit that administers the SAT and the college-prep course of study called Advanced Placement, takes part in that effort. National data released this week show that in 2018 about half of underrepresented students with a high degree of readiness for these high-achieving classes are participating.

The AP District Honor Roll, now in its ninth year, lists school districts that offer more access to AP classes.

This year five Georgia school districts are among 373 in the U.S. and Canada on it: Bremen City Schools, Buford City Schools, Clarke County Schools, Forsyth County Schools and Marietta City Schools​.

Inclusion is based on data from 2016 to 2018 that show:

  • Increased participation or access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts.
  • Increased or maintained percentage of minority students taking exams and increased or maintained percentage of those who passed at least one AP Exam; and
  • A higher percentage of students in 2018 passing AP course exams than in 2016, unless the district already had more than 70 percent of its AP students scoring a 3 — the passing score — or higher.

This is the first year on the honor roll for Marietta City Schools. “This recognition from the College Board is an excellent metric of how our students and teachers in our Advanced Placement classrooms are succeeding, and I am incredibly proud of the success of our district AP Program, as well as our students who continue to show a high level of motivation and commitment to their learning,” said Superintendent Grant Rivera.

Marietta was also among school districts where more than 30 percent of AP students are minorities or receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Both Buford City Schools and Forsyth County Schools have made the honor roll more than once.

“We are very proud of the expansion of our AP programs at Buford High School. These programs offer rigorous coursework that ultimately prepares our students for post-secondary success,” said Amy F. Chafin, director of curriculum and instruction for Buford City Schools. “Being named to the College Board’s ninth Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll is a prestigious recognition of excellence. … Our teachers and students are to be commended for the preparation and dedication required to achieve at this level.”

Forsyth had similar comments: “Our teachers and counselors know the importance of having motivated and prepared students experience college-level academic courses while in high school. We have worked hard to expand AP opportunities for more students, and look forward to continuing an offering that is a win-win not only for students, but their parents as well,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo.

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