Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AP test results

This chart was presented at last evening's Metro Nashville Board of Education meeting. The presenter focused on the fact that they were getting so many more students taking these advance placement classes. One board member asked if the class members were required to take the actual AP test. They aren't. I assume that those who decline to take the test feel they wouldn't be able to pass. What might the rate be if all were required to take the test?

No one asked why we can't break the 60% pass rate and are, obviously, losing ground.

My scanner isn't the best but that Percentage of Tests Passed rate along that bottom line reads: 59%, 58%, 55%, 59%, 57% and finally 54%


George Rand said...

It is also interesting how they lump 3, 4, amd 5 together. While 3 is "passing" very few colleges accept 3 for credit. It would certainly be enlightening to see the breakout.

Tom said...

But there is a bright side to these numbers. More and more students are taking the test, more nd more students are taking AP classes which provides more of a challenge. Obviously, we'd like everyone who takes it to get a "5." But what is more important? The number of children who take and pass an AP test or the figure that gets published (percentage)? Do you want good numbers or good opportunities for kids?

Look at the chart: the number of test takers has jumpred more than 66%. The percentage of students passing the test has only dropped 5% That's a significant increase in the number of students who are passing tests. Let's not let our desire for a pretty stat in the Tennessean muddy the truth about the huge increase in the number of students who have passing scores. I mean if you want a pretty percentage, we can hand pick 5 kids at each high school to take and make a 5 on the test and get you 100%. But, again, do you want more good scores or a higher percentage of good scores? Losing ground? Come on!

Kay Brooks said...

Yes, so the presenter repeated—more students are taking the test. They didn’t say (or I didn’t hear) the number of students taking the classes. I believe that if you take the class you should take the test. Otherwise we have no clear picture of how successful the effort is.

MNPS is already working on ‘hand picking’ test takers. The presenter stated that they’re asking teachers/principals to encourage ‘good test takers’ to participate in this program to help raise that test passing rate.

Taking the test isn’t the goal is it? Providing the classes isn’t the goal is it? I would hope the goal is that the children actually pass the test and obtain the leg up on their college education that the taxpayers are paying for.

What I want is good opportunities AND good numbers proving that the opportunities are being utilized, appreciated and getting the job done.