Pasco students improve on Advanced Placement exams
The results of this past spring's Advanced Placement testing season has brought some good news for many Pasco County high schoolers.
As a group, more of them took the exams that could earn them college credits, and more of them earned passing scores. The number of students making a 3 or higher on at least one of the tests rose 10 percent over a year ago, and 151 percent from five years ago. The numbers taking an exam went up 21 percent.
Overall, district students earned a 3 or higher on 49 percent of the tests taken, compared to 51 percent statewide. The district has made a concerted effort to increase the numbers of students taking and passing AP classes and exams in the past few years, as the state has incorporated those figures into its school grading system.
Among the district's highlights, Gulf High School had the highest passing rate with 62 percent of AP exams at 3 or higher. Sunlake High logged in right behind at 60 percent, the highest for a school that doesn't also offer International Baccalaureate. Sunlake also saw a 33 percent increase in the number of students taking AP exams. Zephyrhills High saw its passing rate nearly double, as its participation rate also rose by 40 percent.
As far as participation goes, Land O'Lakes High topped the district in terms of overall student body taking AP exams, with 36 percent of students sitting for at least one test. Fivay High had the district's largest rise in numbers of students taking the tests, while Hudson and Mitchell high schools saw their participation rates decline.
The district also had 663 students recognized as AP scholars. Wiregrass Ranch High led the way with 128 of those students, including six earning the top Merit honor.