Madison County’s top students have significantly improved their “advanced placement” (AP) test scores over the past five years, with local students now topping the state and national averages.
In 2009, Madison County High School had 51 total AP students. Only 19.6 percent of those AP students scored a “3” or higher on the AP exams, which are graded on a one-to-five scale. A “3” is considered passing. The percentage of Georgia students passing the AP exams that year was 54.2. And the national average was 61.1 percent.
But Madison County’s numbers have gradually improved, both in AP participation and test scores. And in the spring of 2013, MCHS had 94 AP students, with 64.9 percent of them scoring a “3” or better on the exams. That average exceeded the state and national averages, which were 55.4 percent and 60.9 percent respectively.
Madison County school superintendent Dr. Allen McCannon said he is pleased with the recent data.
“Some of our stakeholders have the misconception that we are not focusing on our brightest students in our school improvement efforts,” wrote McCannon in a letter to school staff members, praising their efforts. “Yes, more students are performing at grade level in our system, but more students are also exceeding. Rigor is increasing at every level in our system. We want all of our students to be ‘independent, productive citizens.’”
McCannon said MCHS has increased the number of AP courses over the past six years. He said the MCHS faculty has “focused on raising rigor for students, while also increasing student supports in advanced placement classes.”
He said the improvement reflects educators’ efforts at all levels of the system.
“At all levels of our system, we should be proud of the work that we are doing to increase rigor for students,” said McCannon to Madison County school teachers and staff. “Because of the work that all teachers are doing through data teams to differentiate for students, more and more of our students are reaching high school ready for advanced coursework. You are working to move students forward, and your hard work on our students’ behalf is making a difference as they prepare for college and the workforce.”