Superintendent: AP Scores Show Promise

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield County School District received mixed results earlier this month with the release of Advanced Placement (AP) test scores, but those results, according to Dr. J.R. Green, Superintendent, came with some very encouraging numbers.

The highlight of the exams, administered at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, came from the AP Calculus numbers. AP exams are scored on a scale of 1-4, with scores of 3 and 4 receiving college credit. Of the nine students taking the AP Calculus exam, Green said two students scored a 3, while one student earned a 4. Four students received a score of 2.

“Historically, these are the best results I have been able to uncover,” Green said.  “I could see this year the cultural shift where students were invested in preparing for the exam. We had kids coming in before school started to prepare and we had kids coming in on Saturdays to prepare. When proper instruction meets a commitment from students, success happens.”

Green said AP Biology scores were also improved. Of the 22 students taking the exam, Green said, five earned a score of 3 while 14 earned a score of 2.

Although scores of 2 do not earn college credit, Green said those students still benefit from the experience. They typically find their first year of college, where they see the same material again, a much easier experience, he said.

The District’s numbers in AP English (broken out into two exams – AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition) and the newly added AP U.S. History indicate more work needs to be done.

Of the 12 students taking the exam in AP Language and Composition, only one earned a 3; six earned a score of 2 and five eked out a 1. Of the 17 students taking the exam in AP Literature and Composition, no college credit was achieved. Eight students earned a score of 2 and nine earned a 1.

Of the 11 taking the AP U.S. History exam, only one earned a 2 while 10 earned a 1.

“I am optimistic these results will improve,” Green said. “Regardless, it is beneficial to expose students to the rigor of AP courses.”

Green said many students who could potentially score well on AP exams have in recent years opted instead to take dual credit courses in association with Midlands Technical College. Those students have experienced considerable success, Green said, with all 10 students taking English 101 last year earning college credit. Five of those students, he said, earned A’s. All eight taking English 102 also received college credit, with another five A’s in that class.

Next year, Green said, the District will offer Math 110 for dual credit, with plans to offer Math 111 in the future. Green said the District may allow students completing and receiving credits in both dual credit classes to sit for the AP exams in their respective subjects.

Green said the District has been rebuilding its AP program since it was, for the 2011-2012 school year, discontinued under Superintendent Dr. Patrice Robinson.

“We are reestablishing our AP culture,” Green said, “and I can see we are heading in the right direction.”