Livingston Parish students continue to be among the state’s top performers in Advanced Placement exams, according to a recent report by the Louisiana Department of Education.
According to the report, 368 students in the 2014-15 school year earned an AP exam score that resulted in college credit, which is a 50 percent increase from the previous year, when 243 students earned college credit.
AP courses in high school offer students the opportunity to earn college credit, depending on the outcome of an end-of-course exam. Those students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam can earn college credit and have those credits transferred to nearly any college in the nation and all colleges in Louisiana.
The report noted that students statewide earned nearly 1,300 more qualifying scores of 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams in 2015 than in 2014, increasing the total from 6,410 in 2014 to 7,703 in 2015 — a 20 percent increase. Since 2012, the number of qualifying scores earned has increased 89 percent, from 4,112 in 2012.
“Livingston Parish continues to be one of the fastest growing districts in the state for student performance growth,” Livingston Superintendent John Watson said. “Last year, three of our high schools were among the state’s Top 10 in performance growth on AP exams.”
Watson said Livingston Parish schools have increased overall AP participation by more than 1,000 students in a three-year period. The level of success for students achieving qualifying scores on AP exams significantly grew across the district.
The largest increase in participation occurred at Albany High School, where participation grew from about 30 students taking AP courses in 2014 to 120 taking AP courses in 2015. Holden High increased its count from about 20 students taking AP courses in 2014 to 66 taking AP courses in 2015.
Walker Freshman High, which offered AP courses for the first time last year, led the parish with a 70.8 percent rate in the number of students who scored a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam. More than 57 percent of Walker High School’s AP students earned a qualifying score for college credit last year, while nearly 54 percent of Live Oak High School’s AP students earned a qualifying score for college credit.
State education officials report that expanding access to AP courses, even among students who do not score 3 or higher, has been shown by studies to increase the likelihood of college completion, even for students not achieving a 3 or higher on tests.