State makes gains on AP exams
Colorado high school students made notable improvements on Advance Placement tests taken in 2015, according to The College Board that released the state-level AP Cohort Data Report last week.
For the Class of 2015, 27.8 percent of students who took an AP exam scored a passing mark of 3 (out of 5) or higher, good for the seventh-highest mark in the nation. That percentage also exceeds the national average of 22.4 percent.
For context, only 16.2 percent of Colorado’s graduating class scored a 3 or higher on an AP test a decade ago. And that 11.6-percent growth over 10 years is tied with California for the fifth-highest increase in the county.
“Colorado students have identified the benefits of taking college-level courses while in high school, allowing them to build necessary skills for college and career,” Rich Crandall, the state education commissioner, said in a news release. “This is a testament to the hard work of both our students and their teachers.”
Colorado was also commended for continuing to increase the number of students taking AP courses. A total of 22,161 students sat for an AP exam last year, which is 44.3 percent of the Class of 2015. That nearly doubles the amount of graduates from Colorado in 2005, when 11,333 students (25.3 percent of seniors) took an AP test.
In total, high school students in Colorado took 46,397 AP test in 2015. Based on students’ opportunities to earn at least three college credits for each AP exam score of 3 or higher, this represents an estimated 139,191 college credits received. With an average of $324.93 per credit hour, the potential cost savings for the state’s students and families was more than $45 million.
The entire nation still struggles with narrowing the equity gap among low-income students taking AP courses. In Colorado, where 41.6 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch benefits, less than 20 percent of those students sat for an AP exam. Of that small group, just better than 15 percent scored a 3 or higher on those tests.
“There is room for improvement,” Crandall added. “We want to continue to provide all students the opportunity to experience the benefits of challenging coursework in their school careers.”
CMC speaker series
The Colorado Mountain College presents “Holistic Health Specialists” as part of its ongoing speaker series on Thursday, March 10, at the school’s Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium at the Breckenridge campus.
The evening will entail a holistic health panel featuring five practitioners who will give brief overviews of their work, followed by an audience question-and-answer session. The event is both free and open to the public, and runs from 7-8:30 p.m. at 107 Denison Placer Rd.
Panel participants include: Drs. Justin Pollack and Kimberly Nearpass, a married couple of naturopathic doctors who share their private practice, Mountain-River Naturopathic Clinic in Frisco; Lynn Drakos, owner of Breckenridge’s A Balanced Crane Acupuncture and Chines Medicine; John Karis, a certified BodyTalk practitioner out of Trinity Wellness Studio in Frisco; and Claudia Bianca, a Rapid Eye Technology therapist, Reiki master and energy healer who practices in Dillon.
For more information, visit http://www.cmcspeaks.com, or call Heidi Kunzek, executive administrative assistant to the campus vice president in Breckenridge, at (970) 453-6757 ext. 2614.
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