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About one-third of Madison students tackle AP courses

Heather Donaldson works as coordinator of secondary instruction for Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)
Heather Donaldson works as coordinator of secondary instruction for Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Instead of avoiding the challenge, approximately one-third of secondary students in Madison City Schools enroll in more formidable advanced-placement (AP) courses.

Based on data from The College Board, the Alabama State Department of Education has reported an increase in public school students who took and excelled on AP exams in the 2013-2014 school year.

Last year, 1,198 Madison students took 2,054 AP exams. “An impressive 60 percent of the test scores qualified for college credit during the high school coursework, saving substantial money in future tuition costs,” John Peck, Madison City Schools public relations manager, said. “The numbers are phenomenal for a system with only 3,200 high school students.”

A+ College Ready will award $79,100 — $100 per test — to Madison students who passed AP exams this year. Last year, the Madison district entered a three-year partnership with A+ College Ready to increase participation in pre-AP and AP classes and more training for those teachers.

The typical student who receives a qualifying score on two AP exams has the potential to save, on average, $1,800-plus at a public four-year Alabama college or university and $3,900 at a private college, Peck said.

Heather Donaldson, coordinator of secondary instruction, said the district staff is “very pleased with the success of our AP program. The results are a reflection of our rigorous AP courses along with the strong foundation built from the preparation that students receive from our elementary, middle and high school courses leading up to AP.”

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler also is pleased and “excited to have such a high participation rate in our AP classes and so many of our students placing as AP Scholars. It is a reflection of quality instruction and a community that places a heavy emphasis on education.”

In addition, 263 Madison students in AP courses qualified as AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor, AP Scholar with Distinction or AP National Scholar. The district offers 26 AP courses.

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