CPS Students Accessing and Passing AP Coursework at Record High Rates 


CPS is First Large Urban District to Be Named to AP District Honor Roll for Four Consecutive Years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, December 15, 2016                                                        

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that 22,462 students in the 2015-16 School Year (SY 15-16) took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam, an increase of over 40 percent since SY 10-11. Not only are more students participating in AP coursework than ever before, but student proficiency has also increased, with the number of students earning a passing score nearly doubling since 2011.
 
In recognition of the District’s continued success in expanding access to AP, the College Board named CPS to its District Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year. No other large urban district has received this honor in more than two consecutive years.
 
“With more CPS students than ever graduating high school and going on to college, record high Advance Placement participation means more CPS students will be prepared for college on day one,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “To build on this success we will continue to invest in high quality programs like AP, which provide students across the city the opportunity to attain hard-earned college credits that count toward their degree and prepare them for rigorous college coursework.”
 
CPS is the largest school district in the United States to be named to the AP Honor Roll, which highlights Districts that have a demonstrated success of increasing AP access and performance. To qualify for the AP District Honor Roll, a school district must:

Increase access to AP by at least 4% in large 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 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage.

“AP is our largest early college and career readiness program, and the substantial gains in AP access and performance are a clear indicator that our students are leaving high school more prepared for college and career than ever before,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Every CPS high school offers students an opportunity to engage in early college credit options, and we will continue to support AP, IB and dual credit opportunities that provide our students with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in an academically competitive college environment.”
 
Today, CPS released SY 15-16 data that shows the number of AP exams taken and students earning a “3” or higher have significantly increased over time, resulting in more students earning early college and career credentials. In SY 15-16:
Students taking AP exams increased by 42 percent, or 6,575 students, from SY 10-11;
Students receiving a “3” or higher on at least one AP exams increased by 88 percent, or 4,717 students, from SY 10-11; and
Exams taken increased by 44 percent, or 11,256 exams, from SY 10-11.

The improved pass rates on AP exams can be seen among every subgroup in the District since SY 10-11, with the number of African American students passing AP exams increasing by 59 percent, and the number of Hispanic students passing AP exams increasing by 117 percent. To further promote AP success, CPS will continue to identify schools with the highest need for college and career programming, and train educators and administrators to implement and employ programming at their respective schools.
On top of the record marks for AP exam achievement, CPS led the country this past year in AP Capstone Diploma recipients. AP Capstone is an intensive program that seeks to develop research, teamwork and communication skills through two dedicated courses that are designed to complement study in college-level courses. 108 AP Capstone diplomas were earned in CPS this year -- all by students at Lane Tech High School -- which was the highest number for any school and district in the country. Capstone Diplomas are awarded to students who earn a “3” or higher on the AP Capstone Seminar and Research courses, and on four additional AP exams of their choosing.

On top of the record marks for AP exam achievement, CPS led the country this past year in AP Capstone Diploma recipients. AP Capstone is an intensive program that seeks to develop research, teamwork and communication skills through two dedicated courses that are designed to complement study in college-level courses. 108 AP Capstone diplomas were earned in CPS this year -- all by students at Lane Tech High School -- which was the highest number for any school and district in the country. Capstone Diplomas are awarded to students who earn a “3” or higher on the AP Capstone Seminar and Research courses, and on four additional AP exams of their choosing.

"We have prioritized college-level instruction so that every student in Chicago has the opportunity to deepen their learning and earn credentials that will provide them a competitive edge while reducing the financial burden of attending college," said CPS Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson. "We applaud our teachers and administrators for embracing college-level curriculum, and we will continue to seek opportunities to train and prepare our educators to offer demanding instruction that prepares our students for the rigors of college.”

The remarkable performance on AP exams is yet another indication that CPS students are making rapid growth in levels of college readiness. In SY 15-16, 40.6 percent of graduating seniors earned early college and career credentials, putting CPS on course to reach Mayor Emanuel’s goal of at least 50 percent of all CPS high school graduates attaining college and career credentials by 2019. Early college and career credentials can be earned by students in AP, IB, STEM, Dual Credit, Dual-Enrollment and JROTC courses, which help make college more accessible and prepares students for success in higher education. 

Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.   
 

Page Last Modified on Thursday, December 15, 2016