L’Anse Creuse makes Honor Roll again for AP advancements

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 11, 2012

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — L’Anse Creuse Public Schools is among 539 school districts across the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on their third annual AP District Honor Roll for their continued achievements in their Advanced Placement (AP) programs.

According to a report released by the nonprofit College Board, which is headquartered in New York, for the second year in a row, L’Anse Creuse has simultaneously increased access to AP coursework for students, while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP coursework.

“We are very proud L’Anse Creuse Public Schools has been placed on the Annual AP District Honor Roll,” said Superintendent Jackie Johnston. “This national recognition is an accomplishment that exemplifies our focus on rigor and academic achievement. Congratulations to the students, staff and parents whose hard work and success resulted in this prestigious acknowledgement for our schools.”

Since 2010, LCPS, a district of more than 11,000 students, has increased the number of students participating in AP from 290 to 395, while improving the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher — from 48 percent to 54 percent.

AP courses are offered at L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township and L’Anse Creuse High School-North in Macomb. There are also a few AP courses offered at the Frederick V. Pankow Center, located in Clinton Township. There are currently 3,535 high school students enrolled in the district.

More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3 or above on an AP exam — which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.

Inclusion on the Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012, for the following criteria: Districts must increase participation/access to AP by at least 6 percent; ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts; and improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

The report states that a total of 539 school districts across 44 of 50 states in the United States and six Canadian provinces achieved honor roll status. The state of Massachusetts was represented by the largest number of AP Honor Roll districts, with 46, followed by Michigan, with 39.

“We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in these 539 districts, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing,” said College Board President David Coleman in a press release. “These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level, which is helping to create a strong college-going culture.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers, to district and school administrators, to college professors, College Board officials said. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously.

“There has been a great victory among educators who have believed that a more diverse population could indeed succeed in AP courses,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of the Advanced Placement Program. “In 2012, AP scores were higher than they’d been since 2004, when one million fewer students were being given access. These outcomes are a powerful testament to educators’ belief that many more students were indeed ready and waiting for the sort of rigor that would prepare them for what they would encounter in college.

“While we recognize that there is still much work to be done to prepare students for college, I find myself inspired daily by what they are achieving,” Packer added.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program enables willing and academically prepared students the ability to pursue college-level studies, with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both, while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in an exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — skills that educators say prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students.

Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores.

According to a report by the College Board, in the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP exams have nearly doubled. In May 2012, 2.1 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.7 million AP exams.

For further information about the College Board or Advanced Placement, go to www.college board.org.