Students in the four-county region scored well enough on 21,977 Advanced Placement tests to earn college credit in 2016-17, up nearly 40 percent from five years earlier, according to new data from the California Department of Education.
Advanced Placement classes are designed to be equivalent to college-level instruction. Most colleges allow students who score well on an end-of-course AP exam to earn college credit and skip that class when they arrive on campus.
At California public colleges, a score of 3 or higher generally earns credit. Elite private schools like Stanford and the University of Southern California increasingly require scores of 4 or higher for credit.
About 88 percent of AP test scores at Davis Senior High were at or above 3, the highest percentage of credit-worthy marks in the region. Student scores on more than 1,600 tests at Granite Bay High were strong enough to earn college credit, the highest number of credit-worthy scores in the region.
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Nearly half of test scores at Mira Loma were 5s, the highest percentage of top scores in the region.
Many schools across the region and state have recently increased their number of Advanced Placement classes – and far more students are taking advantage.
But there are huge gaps in Advanced Placement offerings and credit-eligible AP scores between high schools in the region. Schools with a high number of economically disadvantaged students tend to have fewer pupils taking and scoring well on AP exams.
Phillip Reese is a Bee data specialist and teaches at Sacramento State : 916-321-1137, @PhillipHReese