Pinellas vs. Hillsborough on Advanced Placement approach
It's not exactly trash talk before the big game, but Pinellas is taking a bit of a dig at Hillsborough for its aggressive approach to increasing the number of Advanced Placement students. In this recent note to Pinellas County School Board members, deputy superintendent Catherine Fleeger notes that Pinellas boosted both its AP participation and passage rates last year, with the latter climbing from 45 to 47 percent.
"In Hillsborough," she continues, "the average passing rate is now only 38%."
Ouch! Okay, maybe we're making a mountain out of a molehill here, but there is debate to be had over whose approach to AP is best.
Hillsborough has gone gangbusters with participation, as this St. Petersburg Times storyrecently noted, and while the raw numbers of kids passing is going up, its passage rate has dipped. Pinellas, proceeding more conservatively, is seeing both trend lines going up.
Pasco might be on the best track. It boosted its participation numbers 29 percent last year - twice the rate that Pinellas did - and its pass rates climbed from 41 to 48 percent.
Fleeger's note also pointed out that according to the 10-day count, Pinellas has 3,021 more AP course enrollments than last year - nearly three times as much as last year's increase. And its enrollment in high school honors classes climbed 5 percent.