Gains in Honors & AP Enrollment Among All Groups

October 14, 2003
The majority of all eighth graders in the Montgomery County Public Schools took Algebra last year, more than two-thirds of all high school students were enrolled in honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and gains were made by all racial and ethnic groups in higher-level courses, according to data released today [Tuesday, October 14] at a meeting of the Board of Education.

The all-time high improvements reflect continued efforts to increase student participation in a more rigorous secondary education program, opening up more higher-level courses to more students. Today, for example, the school system implemented the fourth year of offering the PSAT to all tenth grade students as a way of identifying more students for rigorous studies.

Among the new data released today:

* Grade 8 students last year completing Algebra or a higher-level math course reached 51 percent, compared to 41 percent in 1999. The percentage of African American students in such courses reached 28 percent, compared to 17 percent four years ago. Hispanic student participation rose from 14 percent in 1999 to 27 percent last year.

* High school students completing at least one honors or AP course rose to 67 percent last year, compared to 56 percent in 1999. Nearly half of all African American students (47 percent) were enrolled in these courses, compared to 32 percent in 1999. Hispanic student enrollment increased from 32 percent to 42 percent.

* Students in just AP courses reached 25 percent last year, compared to 15 percent four years ago. African American enrollment doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent during the same time period, with a similar increase among Hispanic students (7 percent to 12 percent).

A detailed report on the school system and individual school progress in these key areas is attached below.

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