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09/14/2018

Gov. Malloy: Advanced Placement Test Scores Increase Nearly Four Percent

More Students Taking AP Courses and Tests

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that Connecticut public school students are continuing to increase their performance and participation on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to the 2017-18 results from the College Board. These improvements were evidenced among students from all racial/ethnic backgrounds and extend to the state’s Alliance Districts.

“Over the last eight years, my administration has worked to ensure that every student – regardless of his or her zip code – has the opportunity to succeed in Connecticut,” Governor Malloy said. “Today we are announcing another step toward that longstanding goal. We should be proud that for two years running, increases have been driven in large part by students of color, who have traditionally been underrepresented in AP testing.”

The number of students who took at least one AP exam in 2017-18 rose to 30,411 – an increase of 5 percent from 2016-17. Those students took 55,738 exams, also an increase of 5 percent from the prior year. Of the exams taken, 37,804 achieved a score of three, four, or five – an increase of 3.8 percent from 2016-17.

“This makes a big difference, in many cases allowing students to take college-level courses and receive college credit during high school, relieving some of the financial burden on hardworking Connecticut families,” Governor Malloy continued. “This should not be seen in a vacuum. Coupled with seven consecutive years of graduation rate increases – with the largest gains coming from traditionally underperforming school districts – and continued statewide improvement on Smarter Balanced Assessment, we have seen real improvement in our education system over the past eight years. It’s real progress, and it is why we have fought to ensure that traditionally underserved and underfunded districts have received necessary resources and support. And it’s why we need to continue to fund our education system equitably.”

“It is heartening to see that all student groups in Connecticut’s public schools have not only increased their participation in AP exams for since 2011 but are also receiving scores of 3, 4 or 5 on those tests,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “We can attribute this to the hard work of students and educators to meet the high expectations set for them, as well as the fact that we are following through on our promise to ensure students graduate prepared to succeed in college and their careers. This includes continuing to proactively expand access to and participation in challenging college-level material, like AP courses, and college-entrance exams for all students in order to maintain the positive trend we have seen over the last several years.”

To improve access and remove barriers for underrepresented student populations, the State Department of Education for the fifth consecutive year paid the remainder of fees not covered by the College Board for low-income students to take AP exams in spring of 2018. CSDE will continue to cover this cost going forward. Based on the results of the fall 2017 PSAT exams, CSDE sent letters to over 19,000 students identified as having AP potential. CSDE will continue this practice as well.

The Next Generation Accountability System acknowledges that students may demonstrate their abilities through options other than the AP, which is why the system recognizes participation in International Baccalaureate (IB), dual enrollment, and career/technical education courses, in addition to exam performance on the IB, SAT, and ACT.

AP 2017-18 Results

Percentage increase from 2016-2017 in the # of test takers

Percentage increase from 2016-17 in the # of exams taken

Percentage increase from 2016-17 in the # of tests scoring 3, 4, or 5

All students

5.0

5.0

3.8

Asian

7.9

8.0

7.8

Black/African-American

10.4

15.2

12.3

Hispanic/Latino

12.2

11.2

9.7

White

1.0

1.1

0.9

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