SALEM, Ore. — An annual report by the College Board found that the number of Oregon students taking Advanced Placement courses and exams continues to increase.
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Report to the Nation found that over 8,000 Oregon seniors took an AP exam last year, which is more than double the number of seniors a decade ago.
Performance in the courses and on exams has also gone up. In 2002, only 8 percent of graduates received a score of three or higher, giving college credit for the course. Ten years later, 16.2 percent of the graduating class received a three or higher.
“We have the tools to help these students prepare for a successful post-secondary transition,” Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton said. “We just need to make sure these opportunities are available to all of our students regardless of race, income, native language, or where they happen to live.”
Minority and low-income students continue to be under-represented in AP courses and succeeding on exams.
Last year 14,071 Oregon students took a 22,039 AP exams. Of those students, 9.7 percent were Hispanic and only 41 percent received a score of three or higher. Black students made up 1.6 percent of test takers and 41 percent received a three or higher. Native American students made up 0.7 percent, with 51 percent of tests receiving a score of three or higher. White students made up 68.8 percent of test takers and 62 percent received a three or higher.
“We need to take a proactive approach to identifying and recruiting students who might not otherwise enroll in AP and other advanced course work and provide them with access to the tools they need to succeed and earn those college credits,” said Saxton.
Expanding access to AP courses and exams is part of the Governor’s strategic investments in guidance and support for high schools and will make college more accessible and affordable for Oregon families.