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Lafayette Parish School System Advanced Placement Scores

The Louisiana Department of Education has released the Lafayette Parish School System’s spring2015 Advanced Placement exam results. Here is a quick look at some of the numbers and what some schools are doing to increase the rigor of instruction and improve student performance.

 

Overall, the results indicate that while there are numerous opportunities for continued growth, Lafayette Parish is making solid gains in AP performance and in expanding access to the rigor of AP coursework for students. The number of Lafayette Parish Public School students taking AP exams in 2013 was 407. Over a two-year period, that number rose to 745 in 2015. The increase in test- takers means that over 300 more students had access to the increased rigor of AP coursework. While the percentage of students earning a 3 or more on exams has fluctuated over the past three years from 34% to 42%, the number of students passing exams has steadily increased from year to year from 150 in 2013 to 255 in 2015. A score of 3 is generally the threshold for a score that is considered passing and the score at which most universities begin to award college credit for AP exams.

 

Lafayette High School’s performance has remained solidly above the national average for students earning a 3 or more. In 2014, 59% of all AP test takers worldwide earned a score of 3 or better. In 2014, 69.4% of Lafayette High School students earned a score of 3 or better. In 2015, that percentage was still a solid 64%. In 2015, 208 of the 255 students earning a score of 3 or more were Lafayette High School students. Donald Thornton, principal of Lafayette High, said “Lafayette High has worked hard to create a culture geared towards pushing high expectations and college preparation. With this in mind, LHS has recently been fortunate enough to offer students AP classes such as AP Statistics, AP U.S. History, AP European History, AP Biology, and adding AP Micro Economics and AP Psychology for the 2015-16 school year. The response from the students has been overwhelming. LHS AP courses are in high demand. The high achievement is also a testament to the teachers at the school. LHS teachers are highly credentialed and constantly work to push the rigor levels of these courses. It is our hope to not only maintain this level of student achievement but to also increase achievement in AP courses as we move forward.”

 

Acadiana High School saw more modest gains but still increased the number of students earning passing scores from 10 to 19 from 2013 to 2015, while more than doubling the number of students who had access to AP coursework in that same period.  Anne Baker, senior counselor at Acadiana, said that the “increase [in enrollment] was partially created by offering a new AP class, contacting parents and students to educate them on the benefits and expectations of AP classes, and removing financial barriers from our students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The Honors/AP Department teachers added extra support for our AP students this year by providing free tutoring during 2nd hour and after school, helping enroll students in a Calculus AP test prep seminar held at LSU, providing access to preparatory online programs and other resources free of charge, holding summer time seminars/lessons at Barnes and Noble to provide extra instruction and assistance to students, and arranging for breakfast/lunch for students right before they took their tests. Students who took advantage of these extra supports greatly improved their final AP test score from those earned on initial practice tests.”

 

Comeaux High School has seen a steady enrollment in AP courses over the last three years and also experienced modest gains in AP. In 2013, 9 Comeaux students earned a score of 3 or better on AP exams. That number rose to 12 in 2015.

 

Carencro High School and Northside High school both expanded access to AP for their students but saw very small gains in performance. Ken Roebuck, principal of Carencro High school, said “we are continuing our efforts to show our students the value of the advanced rigor in these classes. We have sent our teachers to training in both AP and Pre-AP to help them increase the rigor in both regular and advanced courses.” Mr. Roebuck also outlined several other initiatives intended increase student performance at all levels during the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Julia Williams, principal of Northside High school, said “Some of our teachers attended AP training for the second time this summer to continue their growth as AP educators. We will be adding AP Biology this year. With the change to 7 periods, our teachers feel our students will be more successful with the extended time to prepare. We were able to double block US History AP so students are adequately prepared for both the EOC and AP exams. We hope to offer some AP workshops for students throughout the year to better prepare them for the test. We are also implementing a school-wide focus on literacy which will help in performance across the board on the AP exams since so much of the tests is reading and responding.”

 

There were no AP results this year for the Early College Academy because students there are enrolled in dual enrollment coursework full time during their junior and senior years.