Wheelersburg honored for AP scores

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

January 8, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Wheelersburg Local School District announced recently that they are one of only 539 school districts in 44 U.S. states and Canadian provinces being honored by the College Board with placement on the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll.

The districts achieve AP Honor Roll status for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement (AP) course work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of three or higher on AP Exams. Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work.

According to Wheelersburg Schools, the district has increased the number of students participating in AP by 141 percent since 2010, while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of three or higher by 89 percent.

“We were pretty pleased with the announcement. We’ve spent a lot of time and our teachers put in a lot of hours of their own time to go get trained and make things more affordable to kids, to give them more opportunities when they go off to college,” said Wheelersburg High School Principal Matthew McCorkle.

Inclusion on the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012, for the following criteria: Districts must 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; Ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts;and Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a three or higher.

“We had some students that went off to universities that gave privileges to kids that have taken AP classes. What we were finding out was that our kids were ready, they just didn’t have AP titles. So we started adding that to it and we’ve been successful. Our scores have been great,” McCorkle said.

More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of three or above on an AP Exam — which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.

“We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing. These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level—which is helping to create a strong college-going culture,” said College Board President, David Coleman.

Founded in 1900, the not-for-profit College Board was created to expand access to higher education. According to the Board, today’s membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.

For more information about College Board, visit www.collegeboard.org.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@portsmouth-dailytimes.com.