Hawaii public school students outpace nation in gains on AP Exams

26-Sep-2016

Hawaii’s public school students are exceeding the nation in gains on the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) Exams over the year prior. The AP results for HIDOE students who were tested last May show increases in the number of exam takers, exams taken and scores of 3 or higher.

Hawaii Advanced Placement Exam results 2014-15 vs. 2015-16

Photo Credit: Department of Education

​​Hawaii’s public school students are exceeding the nation in gains on the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) Exams over the year prior. In a report released today, the AP results for Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) students who were tested last May show increases in the number exam takers, exams taken and scores of 3 or higher. 

“In just one year, between 2015 and 2016, the number of AP Exams in Hawaii that were scored 3 or higher increased by 7.5 percent,” said Scott Hill, a vice president at the College Board, which administers the AP Program. “That significant increase is a testament to the hard work and commitment of Hawaii’s students, parents, teachers, and education leaders, all of whom deserve commendation for this great achievement. We will continue to partner with Hawaii educators to ensure that all students ready for the challenge of AP are able to access those opportunities.” 

Compared with last year, Hawaii’s public schools exceeded the nation’s growth in all categories –number of exam takers, exams taken and scores of 3 or higher. 

Since 2012, the number of exams taken by Hawaii public school students has increased by 26 percent (from 6,669), and the number of passing scores increased by 29 percent (up from 2,599). 

“Growth is crucial for our public schools and these results show promising system-wide improvement as we continue to raise the rigor and prepare our students for post-high school endeavors,”said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “These gains also reflect the hard work and professional development being done by our educators to prepare for and teach these college-level courses. Their dedication to their craft and students is evident in these positive results.”

The AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams.

Students taking AP Exams also qualify for AP Scholar Awards, which recognizes exceptional achievement on the exams. For SY 2015-16, 616 students from 33 HIDOE schools earned AP Scholar Awards.  

  • 10 students from 6 HIDOE schools qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams. 
  • 26 students at 23 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. 
  • 16 students at 26 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least a 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
  • 374 students at 31 HIDOE schools qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher. 

The College Board also awards the AP International Diploma (APID) for students interested in pursuing university study outside of their native country, and who earn scores of 3 or higher on five or more total AP Exams in specific subject areas including world language and culture courses, global perspectives, science, math and computer science. Miki Kinnamon, a senior at Kalaheo High School, earned the APID for SY 2015-16.

Since 2012, Hawaii has received grants from the U.S. Department of Education to subsidize test fees for low-income students. Funding has increased year-over-year with HIDOE receiving $114,168 in 2015. 

“These grants have been a tremendous help in making sure that we are able to provide college and career readiness opportunities for all of our students. For many of them, earning college credits at no cost in high school will help with the financial burden associated with completing a post-secondary degree,”Superintendent Matayoshi added.

The push behind providing opportunities for more students to take AP courses and exams are part of a range of recent transformational efforts to increase students' college and career readiness. Learn more about these efforts in an Expectation of College. The results include strong increases in college enrollment, enrollment in early college programs at the high school level, as well as significant declines in college-level remediation in English and Mathematics.

For more information about AP courses and participation at HIDOE schools, visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: (808) 586-3232

Email: donalyn_dela_cruz@hawaiidoe.org

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