Land O’ Lakes, FL – Pasco County Schools has been named College Board Advanced Placement District of the Year for leading the nation’s large-sized school districts in expanding access and equity to Advanced Placement courses while simultaneously improving exam performance.
“This national recognition speaks volumes about what our students and teachers have accomplished together,” said Pasco School Superintendent Kurt Browning. “Our students are excelling at the highest levels, and teachers at all grade levels contributed to that success. It’s gratifying to finish this unusual school year on such a high note.”
Pasco County Schools was one of 250 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that were named to the annual AP District Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year – one for each category of district population size: small, medium, and large – were selected based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data. Pasco was honored in the category of large districts, as defined by those with 50,000 students or more.
“This award shows that Pasco County Schools is challenging many students to achieve at the highest levels,” said Trevor Packer, head of the College Board AP Program. “Pasco is ensuring that a more diverse population of students is earning college credit in a wide variety of AP subjects. Congratulations to all the educators and students whose dedication and hard work garnered this well-deserved recognition.”
From 2017 to 2019 Pasco County Schools:
- Simultaneously and continuously increased the number of students taking AP classes while improving successful outcomes (a score of 3 or higher) on AP Exams. 60% of all AP students in Pasco scored a 3 or higher on at least one exam in 2019;
- Increased AP student participation, and increased the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam; and
- Increased the percentage of traditionally underrepresented minority AP students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam.
Increasing access to AP coursework while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher, and increasing participation and success among traditionally underrepresented minority students, is the ideal scenario. It means the district is successfully preparing a larger, and more diverse, group of students for the rigor of AP and college studies. The work was done in conjunction with Equal Opportunity Schools, a partner that works with districts to close the AP access gap.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment that shows the nation what can happen when great teachers believe in and push students to handle the most rigorous courses. Students will always exceed our expectations,” said Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “Superintendent Browning and his team are preparing a large and diverse group of students for success, and the entire State of Florida is proud of what Pasco has accomplished.”
Participating in AP coursework can lead to college savings for families. The typical student who scores a 3 or higher on two AP Exams can save, on average, $1,779 at a public four-year college and over $6,000 at a private institution. In Pasco, it has been estimated that students scoring 3 or above on AP exams earned the equivalent of $3-million in college tuition last year.
In 2019, more than 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide received AP scores for college credit, placement, or consideration in the admissions process. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.