Idaho High School Students Lag Behind On SAT Scores, AP Scores Improve

Oct 8, 2014

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Idaho high school students showed improvement on Advanced Placement tests, but lag well behind national benchmarks on the SAT college placement exam.

Those are two key findings from national results issued Tuesday.

The College Board, a New York-based nonprofit, released scores for the three sets of tests it administers: the AP exams, the SAT and the PSAT/NMSQT, a practice test for the SAT.

Here are the Idaho results:

AP. More Idaho students are taking the AP tests — challenging exams that can translate into college credits. And more students are getting passing grades.

In 2014, 11.1 percent of Idaho’s juniors and seniors took at least on AP test, up from 7.3 percent in 2004. This year, 7.5 percent of 11th and 12th graders scored at least a 3 on the AP’s five-point grading scale, up from 4.9 percent a decade ago.

Those improvements also translated into low-income households. More than 18 percent of the Idaho students who passed an AP test come from low-income households, up from 7.5 percent in 2004.

“Idaho has made a great commitment to expanding access to challenging course work for students across the state,” the College Board said in its report.

The improved AP scores are good news, state superintendent Tom Luna said Tuesday, but they tell only part of the story. Two years ago, 16,000 Idaho high school students enrolled in college-level courses. Last year, that figure swelled to 31,000, with much of the growth coming in dual-credit courses. Many students are more comfortable taking college-level dual-credit classes, as opposed to AP classes, which require the student to pass a test in order to qualify for college credit.

Despite the gains on AP scores, Idaho still lags behind the national averages — both in participation and passing grades. Click here to continue reading this story from Idaho Education News.