CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – Nevada has been maligned when it comes to education with poor performances turned in by many school districts when it comes to the quality of education across the state.
However, it seems improvements are coming gradually. Recent statistics show Nevada had both the largest three-year and single year increases in the percentage of public high school graduates scoring a three or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) Exam.
“Research shows that students who pass an AP Exam are three times more likely to complete college,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This is another strong indicator that our education system is evolving to meet the demands on the New Nevada economy and that we have what it takes to become the fastest improving state in the nation.”
The AP Exam results come at a time when the state is expanding access to AP exams. Governor Brian Sandoval recently announced that every school district in the state will offer AP Computer Science Principles beginning in the 2017–2018 school year. AP courses provide high school students with the opportunity to earn college credits or advanced standing while preparing them for post-secondary education.
Of the 18,904 Nevada public school students from the 2016 graduating class who took 32,532 AP exams, 15,656 earned a three or higher on an AP exam – an increase of 10.3 percent from 2015. Nevada students scored a 5.6 point increase in the percentage of graduates earning a three or higher on the AP Exam over the past three years.
In May 2016, the total potential cost savings for Nevada’s public and private high school students and families based on earning college qualifying credit on AP was $11,805,273. This savings is based on an average rate of $230.23 per credit earned.
At the national level, 21.9 percent of the class of 2016 earned a three or higher on the AP Exam. Nevada, which ranks 14th, is among 17 states ranked above the national average of graduates earning a three or higher. In the last decade, Nevada had shown an 8.5 point increase in the percentage of public high school graduates earning a three or higher on AP Exams compared to 7.6 percent at the national level. Nevada showed a growth rate of 2.6 percent compared to 2015 in the passing rate while the growth at the national level was 0.6 percent.