Published Online: August 27, 2014

Ala leads US in Advanced Placement gains

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits, officials said Wednesday.

Over the last six years Alabama students shown an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent.

"It's good to be No. 1 in something other than football," said Gov. Robert Bentley, who joined State School Superintendent Tommy Bice in announcing the results.

The number of qualifying scores on exams taken in Alabama increased from 4,037 in 2008 to 9,534 this year.

The College Board released similar findings earlier this month about the state's improvement in Advanced Placement testing.

The new report tracks results of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program in Alabama, which began in 2008 with the goal of improving scores. It was funded with $13.2 million in public and private grants.

The program provides teacher training and support $100 stipends for teachers and students. It will be in 118 schools in 54 districts this school year, an increase of 21 schools over last year.

Bice said the goal is to have the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program in 200 schools by 2020. He said the program has helped students who might not have a strong advocate for education at home to realize their potential.

"When you believe in kids and set high expectations for them regardless of their background, you're seeing what the results can be," Bice said.

The program has saved Alabama parents more than $36 million in tuition costs by helping students earn college credits at a cost lower than the price on a typical university campus.


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