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November 27, 2012

School district makes the grade with College Board

District recognized for number of students taking Advanced Placement classes

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

Once again, the Troy School District made the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) District Honor Roll, both for the number of students taking AP classes and the grades they achieved on the AP exams.

Since 2010, the number of high school students taking AP courses in the district has increased by 168 students — with 1,077 students now tackling AP coursework. Currently 31 percent of high students in the Troy School District take AP courses.

The Troy School District is one 539 school districts in the U.S. and Canada to earn the recognition.

The Troy School District students may take AP classes in math, science, English, social studies, art and foreign languages.

AP students across the country take the exam on the same day in May. Exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. A score of 3 or above is needed to earn college credit, which varies at each college or university. Of those Troy School District students who took AP exams, 87 percent scored a 3 or higher.

College Board President David Coleman applauded educators and administrators and said educators enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level, which helps to create a strong “college-going culture.”

Last year, the Troy Board of Education changed the way the district calculated grade point averages in order to give AP cases more weight.

“This provides students with an opportunity to challenge themselves with some assurance the grade will be adjusted for taking a rigorous class,” said Rich Machesky, Troy School District assistant superintendent for secondary instruction. “Our goal is to get every student to take and successfully complete an AP course or college-type credit or certification,” he added, noting that many students take more than one AP course.

In addition, 97 percent of Troy School District students have stated they intend to attend college upon graduation, and of those who attend college, only 6 percent were in need of remedial courses, Machesky said.

The AP Honor Roll is made up of all school districts that have increased AP class participation by 4 to 11 percent, based on district size, where students’ performance levels have increased and where those students taking AP classes represent 30 percent or more of minority or low-income students. Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012.

“We’re reaching out to all students, including those who would not normally elect to choose an AP class because their grade point average isn’t as high, or in an ethnic group that does not normally consider taking an AP class,” Machesky said.

Machesky added that he believed the number of students taking AP courses would increase even more next year.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.