Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

CCSD Students Continued to Exceed State, Nation on AP Exams

December 4, 2015

Cherokee County School District high school students not only continue to exceed State and National averages on rigorous Advance Placement (AP) exams, but the school system has also garnered national recognition for its AP achievement for the third consecutive year.  CCSD has earned the third-highest AP exam passage rate in Georgia in 2015, as well as being named to the College Board’s AP Honor Roll.  Only six school districts in Georgia were named to the AP Honor Roll for 2015, and this was CCSD’s third consecutive year to earn the distinction.

The School District, with a passage rate of 73% among the 4,125 tests administered in the spring of 2015, ranks third out of Georgia’s 180 school systems and exceeds the State average of 55% and the National average of 58%.

“This achievement, which is coupled with a 20% increase in the number of tests administered in CCSD, is further testimony to the dedication of not only students, but also teachers, administrators, parents, volunteers, business partners and the entire community . . . to ensure that each student has the opportunity to start and complete college as successfully as possible,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo said.

The AP program has grown significantly in CCSD, with AP courses and exams currently offered in 26 subjects.  The number of exams taken by CCSD students has increased 83% in the last five years alone.

Selection for the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data (from 2013 to 2015), looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.  According to the College Board, School Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2015 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2013 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

The AP Program allows high school students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on an AP exam to earn college credit in high school and, subsequently, to exempt those courses in college.  Studies show that students who participate in AP courses are more likely to earn higher scores on the SAT and ACT and to complete their college education.  Passage of AP exams places students at an academic and financial advantage, studies show, as they can both begin classes in their major sooner and avoid tuition costs for exempted courses.

All of CCSD’s high schools additionally have been named Georgia AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or AP STEM Achievement High Schools in recognition of outstanding student passage and participation levels and the variety of course offerings.

These results will be reviewed by Principals with their Data Management Teams, department heads and AP teachers to evaluate improvement strategies, including sharing best practices among teachers and use of College Board preparatory materials.

“Advanced Placement classes are the most challenging high school courses available to students nationwide; and these results show that CCSD students, teachers and schools are more than up to that challenge!” Dr. Petruzielo said.  “We remain focused on continuing to increase participation in these courses and passage of these exams in tandem with our mission of ensuring that each child is prepared to succeed in further studies and careers.”