Pasco County Schools Makes AP® Honor Roll

This post was published on 02/20/2020.

Land O’ Lakes, FL (December 5, 2019) – Pasco County Schools is one of 250 school districts in the U.S. and Canada that earned a spot on the 10th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.  The district also was on the 5th Annual AP® Honor Roll in 2015, when 547 districts earned the recognition.

“We are proud to make the AP® Honor Roll and to recognize the outstanding achievements of students who participated in the Advanced Placement® program as well as their remarkable teachers,” said Kurt Browning, Pasco County superintendent of schools.

The 10th Annual AP® Honor Roll recognizes the district’s commitment to expanding access to Advanced Placement® coursework while also improving student performance since 2017.  Last school year, 4,484 students were enrolled in AP® courses and those students took 8,247 exams, with more than half earning a passing score of 3 or higher. That is an 8.3 percent participation increase and a 13.4 percent performance increase (qualifyingscores of 3+) over 2017-2018. Those qualifying scores equate to about $3 million in college tuition those students’ families will not have to pay. 

“This speaks to your unwavering leadership and commitment to ensuring that all students are provided access and opportunity. Your district’s ability to not simply propel your students, but also to ensure that they excel, as well as become college career ready before leaving high school, will significantly affect their lives,” wrote Tikini Thompson, director of state and district partnerships for The College Board.

For inclusion on the 10th Annual AP District Honor Roll, the district met the following criteria:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increase or maintain the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2019 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2017 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

The College Board Advanced Placement® program gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP® Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, Advanced Placement, or both for successful performance on AP® Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP® students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP® teachers, ensuring that AP® exams align their high standards.

AP Capstone

Pasco also had 32 students earn the AP® Capstone Diploma and six students earn the AP® Seminar and Research Certificate last school year.  Nearly 350 students are taking either AP® Seminar or AP® Research this school year.  Since the introduction of AP®Capstone at James W. Mitchell High School in the 2015-16 school year, the program has expanded to Wesley Chapel High School (2016-17), and River Ridge, Sunlake, and Wiregrass Ranch high Schools (2018-19).

The AP® Capstone Diploma program develops students’ critical thinking, research, and presentation skills, both individually and as a team. Students conduct academic research on topics of personal interest in two interdisciplinary courses –  AP® Seminar and AP® Research.

To receive the AP® Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher inAP® Seminar, AP® Research, and four additional AP® Exams. To receive the AP® Seminar and Research CertificateTM, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP® Seminar and AP® Research. More than 1,500 schools participated in the AP® Capstone program worldwide during the 2018-19 school year when approximately 7,800 students earned the AP® Capstone Diploma and 4,100 students earned the AP® Seminar and Research Certificate. 

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