Help us expand our reach! Please share this article
BRAINTREE -- Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office is being honored for the first time by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
Boston is one of 21 American dioceses and one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada to be honored.
Under the leadership of Chris Flieger, Associate Superintendent for Academics and Mission, schools in the archdiocese have increased the number of students participating in AP by more than 15 percent since 2011. During this same time, the number of students who scored a three or above on AP exams has increased. (Students must receive at least a 3 out of 5 on an exam to be eligible for college credit.) In addition, the number of African-American and Hispanic students taking Advanced Placement exams increased by more than 30 percent.
Flieger said, "Catholic schools have always stood for excellence, including encouraging students to challenge themselves academically. We believe that all students should have access to rigorous coursework and Advanced Placement courses are one representation of this rigor. Over the past few years, it has been a mission of Catholic schools to increase access to AP courses while maintaining excellence. Schools have responded by opening up new AP courses and expanding enrollment to these courses. We are proud that this year, our 31 high schools offered more than 325 Advanced Placement classes. Enrolling and succeeding in these courses helps create a foundation for future success at the college level and beyond."
Superintendent Kathleen Mears added that, "We are proud of our students and their teachers for all their hard work in achieving these results. We are also grateful to their parents for their support of their children and for placing their trust in our schools. We hope that additional students will be able to participate in the years to come."
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. Catholic schools in the archdiocese are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
"The devoted teachers and administrators in this district are delivering an undeniable benefit to their students: opportunity. When coupled with a student's hard work, such opportunities can have myriad outcomes, whether building confidence, learning to craft effective arguments, earning credit for college, or persisting to graduate from college on time." said Trevor Packer, the College Board's senior vice president of AP and Instruction. "We applaud your conviction that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college."
Inclusion on the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014, looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
-- Increase participation/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;
-- Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
-- Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.