The Advanced Placement program allows students to take college-level courses while still in high school. At scores of 3 or higher, colleges and universities typically award credit for those courses, although the final decision is made by each college or university individually.
Classes are available in biology, calculus, chemistry, statistics, English language and composition, English literature, world history, U.S. history, psychology, music theory and studio art, Spanish language, biology for 10th-graders as well as English language and writing. Students can take several AP courses in a school year, and they commonly do so to get an early start in college. Also, as each AP exam costs $86, with the state paying for the first, taking AP courses is less expensive than tuition for an equivalent class in college.
In the previous school year, 133 students at Griffin High and 212 students at Spalding High were enrolled in AP classes, with U.S. history and English being the most popular classes. Out of the 279 students from both schools who ended up taking the final exam, 100 scored at least 3 out of 5 points. This translates into a rate of 22 percent for Griffin High and 44 percent for Spalding High.
“It’s encouraging,” said Denise Burrell, assistant superintendent for the school system, because the current report shows improvement compared to the one last year.
This is noteworthy in that AP exams are difficult, sometimes more so than a similar college course, Burrell said.