Roanoke County Public Schools received special recognition from the College Board for its performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) says the county school system was one of 12 state school divisions, and 539 across the country, the both increased access to AP courses, and raised achievement scores on the tests. Roanoke County Schools was the only school system in the WSLS viewing area to do so.
Statewide, the College Board said 27.2% of Virginia high school graduates in 2012 received a score of three or higher on at least one AP test. That was an increase of 1.6 percentage points over 2011 (25.6%).
A breakdown of the 2012 numbers by the VDOE found:
Virginia students came in at #5 in the nation overall for achievement on AP tests. For the past five years, the Commonwealth had ranked #3.
"I would be more concerned about the change in Virginia's national ranking if it were an indication of lower student achievement - but it is not," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in a news release. "The percentage of Virginia high school students accepting the challenge of AP courses and examinations continues to increase, as does the achievement of our students on the tests. But AP participation must increase at a greater rate for Virginia to remain competitive with states that are investing resources for this purpose."
Maryland led the nation with 29.6%, followed by New York (28%), Massachusetts (27.9%), and Florida (27.3%).