Office of Shared Accountability Reports

Achievement at an Advanced Level Among Secondary Students: Changes Over Time and Options that Support Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino Students


Nearly one out of six MCPS students in Grade 8 performed at an advanced level in 2008–2009.  More than three quarters of these advanced eighth graders who were still enrolled in MCPS for Grade 12 in 2012–2013 continued to perform at an advanced level at the end of high school.  In response to the finding that Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students were less likely to stay at an advanced level of achievement from Grade 8 to 12, the study identified curricular options and high school programs that supported advanced performance by these students as they went on to complete high school.


To support continued achievement of Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students:

  • Institute districtwide strategies that, starting in middle school, encourage high-achieving Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino students to enroll in IB programs; signature programs that require AP courses; or at least two, year-long Advanced-level, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.  Augment course bulletins to indicate which courses are Advanced-level.
  • Consider establishing a signature program or modifying an existing signature program to require AP courses at the 10 MCPS high schools without such a program or an IB program.
  • Consider expanding the availability of Advanced-level, AP, and IB courses and the size of IB and signature programs to support increased enrollment in them.

To support future research:

  • Develop a monitoring system to ensure that staff members at every school consistently and completely enter program codes for participants for every year of the program.
  • Confirm the findings by replicating the research with a more recent class of MCPS graduates.

File Name: 170801-Achievement at an Advanced Level.pdf (951.2KB PDF)