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December 19th, 2016 by Arcadia Weekly
Only 22 school districts in California honored
The Arcadia Unified School District is one of just 22 school districts in California being honored by the College Board with placement on the seventh Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To receive this national recognition, the Arcadia Unified School District had to, since 2014, increase the number of students participating in AP courses while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these impressive milestones demonstrates that Arcadia Unified is successfully identifying motivated and academically prepared students who are ready for AP courses.
“Three years ago we made a drastic change to our Advanced Placement program at Arcadia High School by allowing all students to enroll in AP and Honors courses,” said Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent Dr. David Vannasdall. “This is a great validation of that transition, and we have opened up many more opportunities for success for our students. I’m very proud of the work of our AP teachers and staff, along with the astonishing pass rate of our students.”
Arcadia High School has a very robust AP and Honors program which offers students 20 AP courses along with eight Honors courses. Since transitioning to this “open access” format in the 2014-2015 school year, Arcadia High School has seen a significant increase in the number of students who are enrolling in AP and Honors courses, and the pass rate on the AP Exams has also increased. In 2016, 2,266 AP Exams were taken by 1,182 students with a remarkable 83.9 percent pass rate.
National data from 2016 show that among African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The Arcadia Unified School District is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“Congratulations to all the teachers and administrators in the Arcadia Unified School District who have worked so tirelessly to both expand access to AP and also to help students succeed on the AP Exams,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s head of AP and Instruction. “These teachers and administrators are delivering real opportunity at Arcadia High and classrooms, and students are rising to the challenge.”
In 2016, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admission process.
Inclusion on the seventh Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2014 to 2016, looking across 37 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 black/African American, Hispanic/ Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students who scored three plus on at least one AP Exam; and
– Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a three or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a three or higher.
When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (black/African American,
Hispanic/ Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.
Arcadia Unified is one of only two districts in Los Angeles County, Lynwood Unified School District is the other, to be named to the prestigious AP District Honor Roll. Arcadia Unified was also named to the AP District Honor Roll in 2010.