by John Hendron, GCPS webmaster

Goochland County Public Schools is one of fewer than 400 public school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on the 2nd Annual AP Honor Roll, for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.  Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s Advanced Placement program, because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically-prepared students who are likely to benefit most from AP coursework.  Since 2009, Goochland County Public Schools increased the number of students participating in AP from 105 to 177, while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher from 29 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2011. The majority of U.S. colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for a score of 3 or above on AP exams.

“The School Board, Goochland High School teachers, administrators, and staff have worked hard to increase the rigor of our academic offerings and the availability of rigorous courses to our students.  Our students, parents and community partners rose to the challenge and have demonstrated that Goochland students are clearly capable of, and embrace, AP-caliber achievement.  Recognition by the College Board for these efforts supports our position and the goals of our Board,” said Superintendent Linda Underwood.

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously. “This school district has achieved something very remarkable. It managed to open the doors of its AP classrooms to many more students, while also increasing the percentage of students earning high enough AP Exam grades to stand out in the competitive college admission process and qualify for college credit and placement,”said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of Advanced Placement and college readiness.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success, including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.