Discussing a recent report compiled by The College Board, Harlan Independent School District Superintendent C. D. Morton said the report shows that more than 30 percent of the 2014 graduating class of Harlan High School took an advanced placement exam.
During a recent meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education, Morton said the advanced placement program gives high school students the opportunity for college credit in more than 30 subjects, ranging from high-level math and science to the fine arts if they score well on the standardized end-of-course exam. He said although it varies from school to school, most colleges require a minimum qualifying score of three on an AP exam to earn college credit for the course.
Morton told members of the board students at Harlan High School took exams in English literature, U.S. history, calculus and chemistry, with more than half earning a score of three or higher in U.S. history and nearly 90 percent scored a three or higher in English literature — qualifying them for college credit. He said more than 50 percent of those taking AP exams achieved scores high enough to obtain college credit.
“Higher level courses equal higher test scores for students,” said Harlan High School Principal Britt Lawson. “It is sometimes hard to get students to buy into the idea of taking challenging courses during their senior year, but research is clear on this issue. If students are exposed to tougher courses they tend to perform better on the ACT and have a higher success rate in college.”
According to a press release by the Kentucky Department of Education issued earlier this year, independent longitudinal research shows that students who participate in AP courses earn significantly higher ACT scores, go to college at higher rates, enroll in fewer remedial classes, earn higher GPAs in college and graduate in a timelier manner.
Morton ended by saying, “We are certainly proud of the success rate of this group of students. The number of students participating in AP classes has risen over the last couple of years and certainly the success rate is headed in the right direction. To have students that score perfectly on every exam they took speaks very well of the preparation they are receiving.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde