All eligible high schools earn AP accreditation
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
February 21, 2013 12:00 AM | 1726 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo
Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo
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All eligible Cherokee County School District high schools earned state accreditation as Advanced Placement Science, Technology, Engineering and Math schools and commendation for their achievement in the math and science fields from the Georgia Department of Education.

According to a Wednesday release from the state department, Cherokee, Creekview, Etowah, Sequoyah and Woodstock high schools were named AP STEM Schools, which are classified as schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses.

All five also were honored as AP STEM Achievement Schools, a recognition that additionally requires each school to have 40 percent of students score a three or higher — a passing score — on both exams, which are graded on a five-point scale.

River Ridge High School, which will graduate its first senior class this year, will be eligible for these lists when they are announced in early 2014 in recognition of 2012-13 school year performance.

“I’m very pleased that all of our eligible high schools have continued to earn state recognition for Advanced Placement opportunities and success in the math and science fields,” Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo said Wednesday.

Petruzielo said the state’s increased emphasis on student achievement in STEM courses reinforces the importance of the district’s STEM Academies initiative, which led to the district opening four elementary-level STEM Academies in fall 2012.

Petruzielo said the recognition also demonstrates the need to not only continue, but also to expand, the program to provide a seamless transition for students into high school-level AP STEM offerings.

“…As we know that many of tomorrow’s careers will be in the STEM field, it’s a top priority for our schools to prepare students to be globally competitive in that arena,” Petruzielo said.

Other categories released in the list that CCSD schools did not qualify for are as follows: AP Challenge Schools, schools with 900 of fewer students testing in four of the core areas; AP Access and Support Schools, schools with at least 30 percent of their AP exams taken by students who identified themselves as African- American and/or Hispanic and 30 percent of all AP exams earning scores of three or higher; and AP Merit Schools: schools with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least 50 percent of all AP exams earning scores of three or higher.

The release from the state also said a higher percentage of seniors scoring a three of higher on AP exams, which moved Georgia up to No. 12 in the nation in this area, according to the College Board’s AP Report to the Nation released Wednesday.

Additionally, Georgia is ninth in the nation when comparing the 10-year increase of seniors scoring a three or higher on at least one AP exam. The state posted a 10.1 percent growth in this area, compared to 7.9 percent for the nation.

“Georgia’s students continue to outperform most of their peers throughout the country on Advanced Placement exams,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in the release. “These results show that Georgia’s students can compete against any students in the nation. Just as SAT results get everyone’s attention, I think the performance of our students on Advanced Placement exams deserves the same attention.”

Gov. Nathan Deal added the continued high scores of all Georgia students are cause for celebration.

“Georgia’s improvement on the percentage of seniors earning a three or better on AP exams represents a good deal – for our students and our state,” Deal said.

Along with the SAT, the College Board administers AP classes and exam that provide rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.

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