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High schools named AP honor schools
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Newton County School System announced Wednesday that all three public high schools—Alcovy, Eastside, and Newton, have been named AP Honor Schools by Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John D. Barge. Honor Schools are named in five categories, based on the results of the 2012 AP classes and exams. Those five categories are:

• AP CHALLENGE SCHOOL: Schools of 900 or fewer students testing in four of the core areas (English, math, science, and social studies)

• AP ACCESS & SUPPORT SCHOOLS: Schools with at least 30% of their AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African-American and/or Hispanic and 30% of all AP exams earning scores of 3 or higher.

• AP MERIT SCHOOLS: Schools with at least 20% of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50% of all AP exams earning scores of three (3) or higher.

• AP STEM SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least two (2) AP math courses and two (2) AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science)

• AP STEM ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least 2 AP math courses and 2 AP science courses and at least 40% of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of three (3) or higher .

All three high schools earned the distinction in the AP STEM Schools category with Alcovy High School also earning distinction (one of only 42 schools in the state) in the AP Access and Support Schools category.

“Over the last several years, our high school leaders and teachers have worked diligently to provide more students with access to Advanced Placement courses; their hard work and dedication has paid off in many ways,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Students taking Advanced Placement courses are direct benefactors of this effort as many colleges and universities translate the success on Advanced Placement exams as college credit, and they are well prepared to participate in the workforce should that be their choice after high school. All three high schools earning the distinction as an AP Honor School further demonstrate our commitment to excellence!”

Advanced Placement (AP) classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia has moved up to 12th in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher – a passing score – on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to The College Board's AP Report to the Nation released today. Georgia ranked 13th in the nation last year.

This report measures progress of the Class of 2012. When results are broken out by subgroup, Georgia’s African-American students rank 2nd in the nation (behind Washington D.C.) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams. Georgia’s 10-year increase (10.1%) in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams also shows impressive results, ranking 9th in the nation.

Georgia is also a national leader when it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams. Only five other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam takers last year. The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 41.1%, compared to 32.4% for the nation.

“Georgia’s students continue to outperform most of their peers throughout the country on Advanced Placement exams,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "These results show that Georgia’s students can compete against any students in the nation. Just as SAT results get everyone’s attention, I think the performance of our students on Advanced Placement exams deserves the same attention."

“The continued high scores of all Georgia students on AP exams are certainly cause for celebration. Advanced Placement courses help students develop college-level academic skills, and passing scores on those exams help students earn college credit for the knowledge they’ve gained. Georgia’s improvement on the percentage of seniors earning a three or better on AP exams represents a good deal – for our students and our state,” Governor Nathan Deal said.