Mountain View Voice

News - August 20, 2010

AP test scores jump at local schools

by Nick Veronin

More students are earning higher scores on a wider array of Advanced Placement exams at local high schools than ever before, according to high school district officials.

"We should be proud," Brigitte Sarraf, associate superintendent of educational services, said at the Aug. 9 meeting of the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District board.

Sarraf said that 81 percent of students taking advanced placement exams at both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools last school year earned a score of 3 or higher. Thirty-one percent of students taking the exams at Mountain View and 32 percent of students taking the exam at Los Altos earned a 5, the highest possible score.

At Mountain View High School, in the 2003-04 school year, 15.7 percent of students taking AP exams earned a 5. At Los Altos, in the 2003-04 school year, 26.4 percent of students taking AP exams earned a 5.

A total of 1,018 AP tests were taken at Mountain View High last year, up from 652 in the 2003-04 school year. A total of 864 AP tests were taken at Los Altos High, up from 502 during the 2003-04 school year.

Students who take the AP test can earn college credit by scoring a 3 or higher. Those who put their nose to the proverbial AP grindstone can graduate from high school with enough college credit to begin their undergraduate year as a sophomore.

While Sarraf acknowledged that some have criticized the AP curriculum for focusing on memorization rather than depth of knowledge, she said the district plans to continue to expand its AP program.

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