The Missouri Department for Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced that high school students in the state are scoring higher on their Advanced Placement (AP) exams than they were ten years ago.
Students earn college credit if they score a 3 or above on their AP exams. The number of students scoring a 3 or above has doubled from 2006, from 3,400 to 6,938 in 2016.
DESE Communications Director Sarah Potter said that this is significant for Missouri high school students planning on going to college.
“This means we have more students earning college credit,” said Potter. “Hopefully it means more students will be entering college a step ahead.”
Potter said that students who earn college credit for AP exams are better prepared and more likely to graduate. AP classes simulate college coursework and challenge students academically, said Potter.
Potter said the past ten years have seen schools across Missouri implement changes to foster student success in AP classes. The College Board honored six Missouri school districts for increasing the number of students taking and passing the exams for college credit. Kirksville was the only school district in Mid-Missouri to receive this designation for the 2016 class.
Kirksville High School Principal Randy Mikel said he is ready to celebrate the teachers’ achievements.
“When those tests come out, [the teachers] are anxious just like the kids for the results,” said Mikel. “It always pleases me to be able to give them that call and say your kids did well.”
Mikel credits expanding AP classes to more than just seniors as one part of the school’s success. The high school offers classes ranging from language and composition to calculus. Sophomores at Kirksville High School can begin working towards college credit by taking a course in AP World History.
Potter said more districts like Kirksville are seeing the benefit to offering AP classes, and hopes that the number of districts who offer these classes continues to expand.