ucps logo

Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools

Search by Keyword

UCPS students continue to succeed at highest levels

Students listen intently as their English teacher at Parkwood High School, Julie Johnson, reviews some class procedures. English is just one of many subjects students can take as an Advanced Placement class. (Communications Office stock photo.)

The CollegeBoard recently released Advanced Placement (AP) results for students across the country. Union County Public Schools students not only took more AP exams than ever in the history of the school system, but they also scored higher than previous years.

According to CollegeBoard, “AP is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment and hard work of students and educators from both secondary schools and higher education. AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to study and learn at the college level.”

In UCPS, 2,943 AP exams were administered during the 2011-2012 school year, almost 600 more than in 2010-2011. This represents a 53 percent increase over the number of exams being administered just four years ago. The increase each year in the number of students taking AP exams illustrates the school system’s commitment to helping every student reach their individual potential.

Dr. Mary Ellis, Superintendent, shared, “In our quest to prepare students for success post-graduation, our schools have intentionally sought to encourage students to stretch themselves in Advanced Placement classes. Credit is due to the students themselves, as well as their teachers who work directly with them.”

In 2010-2011, the latest year for which national data is available, 56.2 percent of students across the country taking an AP exam scored a 3 or higher (the score needed to receive college credit). For the same year, 62.4 percent of UCPS students scored a 3 or higher.

For 2011-2012, the percentage of UCPS students scoring a 3 or higher grew to 64 percent, while 595 more AP exams were given to UCPS students.

Six UCPS high schools not only administered more exams than the previous year, but also posted higher passing rates for the exams given. Parkwood High School had the greatest growth in passing rates, improving by 16 percentage points to top the county average. Parkwood also administered 34 more exams than the previous year.

Parkwood’s principal Jan Hollis attributed the students’ success to two areas; the Students Taking Academic Responsibility (STAR) remediation program and the staff’s movement into a Professional Learning Community (PLC) platform.

The STAR program allows students to return to each class one day a week for an additional 30-minute period to review previous material.

As for the PLC platform, each teacher is involved in two PLCs, one arranged by department and the second arranged as an interdisciplinary group, where teachers work together across curriculum areas to ensure the school’s focus is on learning and not on teaching.

AP exams are traditionally administered during the month of May.

Written by: Rob Jackson, Community Relations and Communications Liaison
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

Back to list of stories for Union County Public Schools