Chicago Public Schools Recognized for Expanding Access to AP While Increasing Performance
Chicago Public Schools Recognized for Expanding Access to AP While Increasing PerformanceJosé Rios, Director, Communications
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in Illinois has been named a College Board Advanced Placement® District of the Year for being the national leader among large school districts—defined as 50,000 or more students—in expanding access to Advanced Placement Program (AP®) courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance, particularly among traditionally underrepresented minority students.
On February 23, David Coleman, the College Board’s CEO and president, joined Chicago leaders at an award luncheon at the Chicago Cultural Center to recognize students, educators, and school administrators. AP Studio Art students displayed their work, the Phoenix Military Academy JROTC did a presentation of the colors, and other local students performed the national anthem.
“Chicago’s AP results are historic. No other school district has won AP District of the Year twice,” said College Board CEO David Coleman at the event. “CPS is leading the country by demonstrating that a greater and more diverse set of students is ready for college-level work in high school. As someone who witnesses education across America, I invite my fellow citizens to look afresh at Chicago’s remarkable achievement.”
Chicago Public Schools was one of 447 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that achieved placement on the annual AP District Honor Roll this year. From that 447, three AP Districts of the Year—one for each category of district population (small, medium, and large)—were selected, based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data. CPS has been included on the AP Honor Roll for the past six years and is also the only school district in the nation that has been awarded AP District of the Year more than once.
“This record-breaking achievement…is a testament to the hard work, progress, and success of Chicago’s remarkable students, teachers, principals, and families,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “CPS students make Chicago proud every day. They not only lead in the classroom, they lead the country in academic growth, and their achievements are earning well-deserved national recognition and respect.”
CPS is being honored as AP District of the Year for successfully expanding access while increasing performance on AP exams. From 2015 to 2017, Chicago Public Schools:
- Simultaneously and continuously increased the number of students taking AP classes while improving successful outcomes;
- Increased student participation in AP annually and the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam; and
- Increased the percentage of traditionally underrepresented minority AP students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam.
“AP has been a lever of change for Chicago's students by helping make the college dream more of a reality,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Rigorous coursework provides students with the opportunity to excel in high school and earn college credit, and being named AP District of the year is a clear indicator that our students are more prepared for college than ever before.”
“We're so proud to join the entire Chicago Public Schools community in celebrating this distinction, and we thank the College Board for their consideration," said Constance Jones Brewer, President of the Noble Network of Charter Schools. "Our students and teachers work tirelessly to make college access a reality for high school students of all demographics. To see their hard work recognized like this is an honor. Now the world knows what Chicago’s students can do.”
One of the biggest benefits of AP for students is the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. Illinois has a statewide AP credit policy, which ensures students receive the college credits they earn as a result of their hard work in AP. When colleges and universities provide course credit to students who score at least a 3 on an AP exam, more students have the opportunity to graduate college on time.
For more information about the AP program, visit www.exploreap.org.