Advanced Placement achievers
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George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids achieved the No. 1 ranking on the “2012 Iowa AP Index” for the fourth year in a row.
The index, developed eight years ago by the University of Iowa College of Education's Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, recognizes Advanced Placement (AP) participation among accredited high schools in Iowa. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program allows students to pursue college-level studies and take college-level exams while in high school.
Belin-Blank Center director
The top five schools in the "2012 Iowa AP Index" are George Washington (1), Regina High School, a private Catholic school in Iowa City (2); John F. Kennedy High School, another public high school in Cedar Rapids (3), Ames High School (4), and West High School in Iowa City (5). The top 25 schools will be honored during the annual Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 7, 2012, at the UI.
“There has been considerable research indicating the positive aspects of taking AP courses and exams. Success in this advanced coursework indicates college readiness," says Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center. "So whether you from a graduating class of 20, 200, or 2000, a score of 4 on the AP calculus exam, for example, is an equal indicator of success to a college admissions officer regardless of the size of your graduating class and location of your high school. In Iowa, we want to ensure that geography will not determine education opportunity.
“The Iowa AP index recognizes public and private schools across the state for providing academic challenges to students.”
Performance on AP exams remains high in Iowa. In 2011, 65.4 percent of Iowa’s students scored a 3 or better on the AP exams, which compares favorably to the 2011 national average of 57.5 percent of students who scored a 3 or better. There was a slight increase from last year in the number of Iowa students taking AP exams (14,896) and the total number of exams taken (9,609).
The Belin-Blank Center provides outreach and professional development for teachers to encourage access to Advanced Placement courses. The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) provides AP opportunities to students at accredited high schools in Iowa, with a focus on rural schools. IOAPA—a collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education—covers the cost of AP courses, exams, and materials. The Belin-Blank Center hosts the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute to help prepare educators to teach AP courses.
To view the top 50 AP schools in Iowa, visit www.iowaapindex.org.