Minnesota 12th graders make gains in taking AP coursesThe number of Minnesota seniors taking Advanced Placement courses and exams during the 2009-2010 school year increased slightly over the previous year. Even so, the state’s participation continues to hover below the national average.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
The number of Minnesota seniors taking Advanced Placement courses and exams during the 2009-2010 school year increased slightly over the previous year. Even so, the state’s participation continues to hover below the national average.
In Minnesota, 15,354 seniors participated in AP courses and 9,797 seniors earned a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam; both reflect a 1 percent increase over 2008-2009. In Minnesota, 26.4 percent of seniors in the class of 2010 took at least one AP Exam during high school and 16.8 percent of seniors from the calss of 2010 earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school, the score typically needed to qualify for college-level credit at many colleges and universities. Nationally, 16.9 percent of seniors scored 3 or above.
“Minnesota’s workforce of the future is learning in a Minnesota classroom today,” said Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota Commissioner of Education. “I would like to commend Minnesota schools and districts for focusing on AP course work, and especially for increasing access so that more students – including students of color and those in rural areas - can take rigorous classes that prepare them for college and a career."
“As Minnesotans, we all have a stake in making sure every child is well prepared and achieving at a high level,” Cassellius added. “The good news is many Minnesota seniors are tackling challenging course content and succeeding. Now we must continue to build on our good work by increasing access for even more students to take challenging course content. That means doing a better job of eliminating entrance criteria that present barriers for some students, and doing more to support and encourage students who are looking for the extra challenge that will open the door to future success in college and the workplace.”
“We know that students who enter college having been exposed to challenging course work, such as Advanced Placement in high school, are vastly better prepared for college-level work than those who did not pursue such opportunities,” said Dr. Sheila Wright, director for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. “Students will invariably rise to the occasion if given an opportunity to excel in a challenging course with the right support systems in place.”