Kentucky students take tougher tests; score higher


by Jacob Ryan

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 7:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Kentucky high school students are showing success in advanced placement exams, according to recent data.

The Kentucky Department of Education is reporting the number of public high school students in the state that chose to take AP examinations in 2013 has nearly doubled since 2008.

In addition to the increasing numbers of students taking the tests, the number of tests with a quality score, eligible for college credit, has increased by 100 percent, according to the report.

Terry Holliday said the AdvanceKentucky initiative has contributed “significantly” to the increased numbers, especially students who have traditionally been underrepresented in AP courses.

“With more rigorous standards and an emphasis on college/career-readiness, were seeing more students take tougher courses and be successful,” Holliday said.

The initiative, AdvanceKentucky, is a statewide math and science program designed to expand access to, and participation and success in, academically rigorous coursework.

Since the initiatives conception in 2008, 88 Kentucky high schools have participated in AdvanceKentucky and more than 2,500 pre-AP teachers have attended summer programs hosted by the initiative.

Along with increased numbers and success rates in AP courses and exams, the report released also highlights increased average scores of Kentucky public high school students who took the SAT in 2013.  However, the number of students who took the test in 2013 decreased, dramatically.  Only about three percent of Kentucky graduating high school seniors took the test.


Nonetheless, the increasing numbers of success rates is a good sign of advancing education and career opportunities for Kentucky students.

Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, said access to the more rigorous course content gives students a stronger educational foundation.

“By encouraging more students to take college-level courses and equipping them to succeed,” she said.  “We’re closing the achievement gap.”