New York Students, Teachers Highlight Benefits of AP Program in Albany
New York Students, Teachers Highlight Benefits of AP Program in AlbanyMichael Preston, Senior Communications Specialist
On Tuesday, March 9, students and teachers from across New York state met with legislators in the state capitol of Albany to highlight the college, career, and financial benefits of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). They discussed with the legislators how taking challenging course work in high school is a vital component in helping students transition to college and beyond, and how the AP Program provides New York students with opportunities to deeply explore their interests while building the skills they need for the future.
During their meetings, the students and educators urged lawmakers to take action to ensure that all students with potential to succeed in AP courses have access to those opportunities, including by:
• Supporting AP grants to help school districts add AP courses, including in underrepresented areas.
• Helping ensure, through a partnership between the state and the College Board, that more students with financial need can take AP Exams through state-based fee reductions.
• Incentivizing AP STEM education and helping to increase the number of STEM graduates, who are critical to building the state’s economy.
Austin Czechowski, a high school senior taking part in a program that exposes students to careers in public policy and politics called New Visions: Law & Government, talked about how lawmakers can support other students across the state.
“I’m particularly thankful for the opportunity to take AP Exams at reduced cost because it is helping me get college credits that will make a college education affordable for me,” he said. “It’s a benefit I'd like to see extended to more students in New York.”
New York ranks near the top nationally in terms of percentage of 11th- and 12th-grade public school students who took an AP Exam in May 2014 (27 percent) and in the percentage of 11th- and 12th-grade public school students who scored a 3 or higher on an AP Exam (18 percent). Last year, 28 school districts across the state were named to the AP Honor Roll, which recognizes districts that increase access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. Achieving both of these goals is an ideal scenario, as it indicates that the districts are successfully preparing a larger array of New York students for the rigor of AP and college studies.
However, there is still an opportunity for New York to increase AP access. Data from the class of 2014 found that 39 percent of prepared public school students in New York graduated without taking a course in an available AP subject for which they had the potential to succeed or attended a school that did not offer a course in the subject.
Legislators appreciated learning more from their constituents about the benefits of the AP Program, and the College Board looks forward to working with them during this session to help deliver opportunity to New York students.