Superintendent Explains State Drop in AP Rankings

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Students in Virginia rank fifth nationwide in Advanced Placement testing. Those numbers are compared to previous years.

Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Doctor Scott Kizner said Harrisonburg's numbers are higher when compared to other localities.

Kizner said there has been a 27 % increase in the number of students who take exams, just from 2011 to 2012.

Statewide about 27 % of students who graduated last year earned a three or higher on at least one Advanced Placement exam.

That's higher than 2011 graduates, which means students are doing well. A major reason for the lower ranking is because of what other states are doing.

Massachusetts, which ranked third, and Florida, which ranked fourth, both use state funds to cover student fees.

In Harrisonburg, it costs $89 for a student to take one Advanced Placement test.

But if money is an issue, Doctor Kizner said they do what they can to cover the cost.

"So one of the things we want to make sure is that we don't have barriers in place. That students who are willing to take the risk and take more advanced coursework are encouraged to," Dr. Kizner said.

Harrisonburg City Schools is also using a grant from the College Board and the Melinda Gates foundation to help students pay for testing. It also supports training teachers further in a-p class curriculums.

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