Advanced Placement Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • 13 states + Washington DC supplement federal aid to cover the cost of AP exams for economically disadvantaged students
  • AP participation rates have grown dramatically over the last decade:
    • Class of 2015: 37.3% of students took > 1 AP test
    • Class of 2005: 21.2% of students took > 1 AP test
  • Students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam increased, too:
    • Class of 2015: 22.4% of students scored > 3 on at least 1 AP exam
    • Class of 2005: 13% of students scored > 3 on at least 1 AP exam

The College Board is engaged in several related initiatives to help AP teachers prepare a larger and more diverse student population to achieve success in AP courses.  First, AP course frameworks in several disciplines have been redesigned to focus on striking a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.  A subsequent blog post will elaborate on the methodology and principles underlying the redesign process.

A critical next step in supporting AP teachers is ensuring that the instructional materials for AP courses address the knowledge and skills articulated in the new course frameworks. To that end, the College Board has partnered with Learning List to ensure that the materials included on the College Board’s Example Textbook Lists for the redesigned courses are well aligned to the new course frameworks and to provide teachers with ongoing support in using those materials effectively. As explained in this press release, the new partnership was announced today during the annual APAC conference in Anaheim California.  As a result of the partnership:

  • The College Board is requiring publishers of AP materials for revised courses to submit their materials to Learning List for review in order to be eligible for inclusion on the College Board’s Example Textbook Lists for those courses;
  • For each AP instructional material, Learning List provides three professional reviews:
  • Spec Sheet: two-page overview of product’s key academic attributes and technology requirements
  • Alignment Reports: detailed verification of the material’s alignment to the content standards and to the skills/practices contained in the relevant AP course framework; and
  • Editorial Review: a deep dive into the product’s instructional content and design to help teachers identify which products contain the supports they and their students need.
  • The College Board uses Learning List’s reviews to determine which materials to include on the Example Textbook List for each revised course.
  • Learning List’s in-depth alignment reports serve as an instructional road map (or GPS) through each AP instructional material.  The alignment reports:
    • Help teachers see and understand the inter-relationships of the key components of the revised course frameworks; and
    • Identify the specific citations (i.e., page numbers, lessons, videos, etc.) in each material that are aligned to each Learning Objective, Essential Knowledge Statement and Skill/Practice for the course so that teachers know exactly which parts of the materials to assign to ensure that students learn all the knowledge and skills the course framework requires.

Furthermore, tools on help teachers identify additional resources if their primary materials are not aligned to 100% of EKs, LOs and Skills/Practices or if students need additional practice.

As explained by John Williamson, College Board’s vice president of Advanced Placement instruction, “The independent reviews authored by experienced AP teachers provide the information AP teachers need [not only] to select materials but also use those materials most effectively in making sure their students are exposed to all of the knowledge and skills articulated in the frameworks.”

Educators may access Learning List’s reviews of AP materials and comparison tools through an annual district-wide, campus-wide or campus AP-only subscription. Contact to schedule a brief webinar to see the reviews of AP materials and tools that help you choose and use AP materials most effectively.

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