SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - South Plainfield High School is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. 2014 is a milestone year for the AP District Honor Roll, and more districts are achieving this objective than ever before. Reaching these goals indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. Since 2012, South Plainfield High School has increased the number of students participating in AP while improving the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.
Mrs. Pormilli, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction says, “ Increasing opportunities at the high school has been a major focus of the high school administration team, content supervisors, coordinator and teachers. The district believes in affording students opportunities that will allow them to have multiple options once they leave the high school and continue their education. The high school added new AP course such as AP World History, US Government and Politics, while also opening the opportunity for some AP courses in grades 9 -12. This is a wonderful honor for our high school as it not only recognizes the hard work of the administration, teachers and students, but also communicates the priority the district has to increasing opportunities for the students of South Plainfield.
Dr. Pedersen, Principal of the South Plainfield High School, adds, “We have received such an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from students, parents and teachers who are excited of the new AP courses we have recently offered. It is a great experience for our students and we will continue to find new and innovative courses that will enhance our academic program.”
Data from 2014 show that among African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating. The first step to delivering the opportunity of AP to students is providing access by ensuring courses are available, that gatekeeping stops, and that the doors are equitably opened so these students can participate. South Plainfield Public Schools is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“The devoted teachers and administrators in this district are delivering an undeniable benefit to their students: opportunity. When coupled with a student’s hard work, such opportunities can have myriad outcomes, whether building confidence, learning to craft effective arguments, earning credit for college, or persisting to graduate from college on time.” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “We applaud your conviction that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
In 2014, more than 3,800 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the United States offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.
Inclusion on the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014, looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
- Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
- Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
- Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.
When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.
The complete 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here.