More high school students are taking advanced placement classes, but are they ready for college? – California News

More high school students are taking advanced placement classes, but are they ready for college? – California News


Two studies released in recent days are worth looking at.

One study shows that the number of students taking advantage of high school advanced placement courses has doubled over the past 15 years. The other reports that nearly half of college freshmen worry they won’t be able to complete a bachelor’s degree.

The College Board and the Education Commission of the States produced the first of these studies. Researchers looked at data between 2001 and 2015 and found that AP class enrollment doubled or nearly doubled across the geographic spectrum. Suburban schools offered the most AP courses. They also had the highest participation rates.

Suburban areas were defined as regions outside a principal city, but inside an urbanized area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas were principal cities of 50,000 or more. Rural was defined as areas outside a cluster of towns and cities with populations of 2,500 to 50,000 each.

Access to at least one AP class in suburban areas went from 91 percent to 95 percent over the 15-year study period. Students taking at least one AP course, however, rose from 19 percent to 37 percent. Urban students experienced a similar increase. But rural student rates had the biggest change, rising from 10 percent to 23 percent. Just 73 percent of rural students had access to an AP course in 2015.

The report seems to suggest that more high school students are engaged in college preparatory courses. That might seem to conflict with the announcement last week by the California State University system that it was changing its assessment practices for incoming freshmen. CSU officials said 40 percent of incoming…

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