More Gwinnett high school students, including traditionally under-represented minority students, are taking college-level classes and doing better on optional exams that can lead to college credit. That positive trend for increased access and performance in Advanced Placement (AP) classes led to national recognition by College Board in a Feb. 21 celebration hosted by Duluth HS.
At the event, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) was named a College Board Advanced Placement District of the Year for being the national leader among large school districts— defined as 50,000 or more students— in expanding access to AP courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance (scores of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale). GCPS was one of 433 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that achieved placement on the annual AP District Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year— one for each category of district population size: small, medium, and large— were selected based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data.
Increasing access to AP coursework while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program, indicating that the district is successfully preparing a larger array of its students for the rigor of AP and college studies. Participating in AP course work also can lead to college savings for families because the typical student who scores a 3 or higher on two AP Exams has the potential to save, on average, $1,779 at a public four-year college and more than $6,000 at a private institution.