Demopolis High boosts AP student achievement

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, September 18, 2014

After expanding its Advanced Placement course offerings in the 2013-14 school year, Demopolis High School had an increase in the number of qualifying scores on AP exams.

The school saw a 40 percent increase in the number of qualifying scores achieved by students in AP math, science and English tests from the previous school year. AP exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, and a student must receive at least a 3 to qualify.

Last year, DHS increased its AP course offerings from five to nine, and 91 more students participated in AP classes than the previous year.

The increases in course offerings, student participation and student achievement comes along with the 2013 implementation of the Alabama State Department of Education A+ College Ready AP Program.

The goal of A+ College Ready is to boost student enrollment and achievement, particularly for under-represented student groups in rigorous AP courses – an indicator of college success.

“I believe that this year’s AP qualifying score growth validates the hard work of our teachers and students in extra summer trainings as well as in the classroom,” said Leslie Gibbs, DHS AP language and composition teacher and A+ College Ready grant coordinator. “These increases are proof that our students are the ones benefiting from instituting real change in our curriculum, programs and classroom instruction.”

DHS Principal Tony Speegle said he’s proud of the work done by his students and teachers.

“I am extremely proud of our students’ achievement in the A+ College Ready Program,” he said. “A 40 percent increase is significant in that our students were prepared well for their exams by their AP teachers. We will continue to offer AP courses that give our college bound students an opportunity to receive college credit for advanced courses taken in high school.”

At a special event held at the Alabama State Capitol on Aug. 27, Gov. Robert Bentley and Dr. Tommy Bice, the Alabama State Superintendent of Education, announced that Alabama ranks No. 1 in the nation in percent increase in math, science and English qualifying scores.

“Alabama students are succeeding in AP classes at unprecedented rates,” Bentley said. “A+ College Ready is a good investment that is preparing our students for college-level courses and careers. It is a good day in Alabama when we see so many of our students from different backgrounds succeeding in AP courses.”

A celebration will be held Friday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. in the DHS auditorium to award gift cards to 35 students for achieving qualifying scores on their AP exams in the spring of 2014.