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ETHS boosts participation in AP exams

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Over the last six years, more Evanston Township High School students have taken Advanced Placement tests, and scored higher, administrators said at a joint meeting of the ETHS and District 65 school boards this week.

According to the administration’s report, there were more AP scores of 3 or higher in 2017 than the number of AP tests administered in 2010.

The number of all students taking at least one AP course has increased from 763 in 2011-12 to 988 in 2016-17, with similar increases across all racial groups.

The percentage of students who scored 3 or higher has increased gradually over the same period, with the percentage of black students scoring 3+ nearly doubling.

The percentage of all 11th and 12th graders taking an AP exam increased from 38 percent in 2011-12 to 64 percent in 2016-17.

During that same period, black student participation increased from 23 to 26 percent and Hispanic student participation increased from 17 to 34 percent.

This matters because public universities and community colleges in Illinois are required to award college course credit for Advanced Placement scores of 3 or higher, according to Peter Bavis, ETHS assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

“Opportunity and supports matter,” said Bavis. “The best opportunity is an advanced placement course.”

To provide the support, a group of students, teachers and school leaders called teamASAP has developed workshops, classes, study guides and other materials to make students aware of AP tests and help them prepare to take them.

Last year, teamASAP members met with students at Lincolnwood elementary and Chute middle schools to promote participation and encourage preparation for AP courses well before kids get to high school.

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