Corbett Named to AP® Achievement List by Phil Pearson

Corbett School District 39 Named to AP® Achievement List by the College Board for Significant Gains in Advanced Placement® Access and Student Performance



388 US Public School Districts Across the Nation Are Honored

Corbett, OR — Corbett School District 39 is one of fewer than 400 school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on its AP® Achievement List for opening AP classroom doors to a significantly broader pool of students, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. From 2008 to 2010,Corbett School District 39 has increased the number of students participating in AP from 150 to 269, while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher, the score typically needed to earn college credit, from 35%in 2008 to 39% in 2010.

Corbett superintendent Randy Trani credits the District’s “AP for All” program with changing the academic climate as well as the aspirations of students. The average Corbett student takes more than 11 AP exams in their high school career; a number that places them well into the 99th perecentile amongst all graduates in the country. According to Superintendent Trani, “Students who take AP classes are better prepared for college, the trades, and the military. This was a school improvement effort that has worked to the benefit of every student whether they pass an exam or not.” Superintendent Trani appreciates the hard work of staff, the commitment of the School Board to support the program, and the work of the students that has made this honor possible.

The Corbett School District also appreciates the help of donors who are stepping up to help support the cost of AP testing. “As the lowest funded District in the County money is tight, but for every dollar we spend on AP testing students and their families realize about seven dollars of free tuition at state schools.” Trani further commented “Supporting programs like this is something individuals and businesses can get behind, it leverages dollars and helps all kids learn. The District is seeking to raise another $40,000 in tax deductible donations this year to keep this program operating to the benefit of all students. Interested donors can contact the District office at (503) 695-3600.”

The AP Achievement List is made up of all school districts that are simultaneously expanding opportunity and improving performance, so even low-performing districts are included if they have been able to maintain or improve scores while expanding access. The list includes 388 school districts representing 43 states, with California’s 37 districts on the list representing the largest number of districts from a single state, followed by Michigan with 29 districts and Pennsylvania with 28 districts.

“Participation in college-level AP courses can level the playing field for underserved students, give them the confidence needed to succeed in college, and raise standards and performance in key subjects like science and math,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “The AP Achievement List districts are defying expectations by expanding access while enabling their students to maintain or improve their AP Exam scores.”

Many U.S. school districts have focused on expanding access to AP courses as part of a strategy for fostering college readiness. While these efforts have resulted in more students earning scores of 3 or better — the score typically cited as a “qualifying” or “successful” score because the majority of U.S. colleges and universities provide college credit or advanced placement for this score — these efforts have also resulted in more students now earning scores of 1 or 2. Accordingly, there has been a slight decline since 2001 in the percentage of AP students scoring a 3 or better, a decline that is to be expected in any program attracting a broader cross-section of students.

That said, helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously.

“These districts are living proof that when access to AP is provided for the range and breadth of prepared and motivated students, districts can achieve even higher learning outcomes for their students — and the opportunity for so many more to earn college credit and placement — than when AP opportunities were restricted to a smaller segment of the high school population,” said Trevor Packer, vice president of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program®.

Inclusion on the list is based on the following criteria:

  1. Examination of three years of AP data, from 2008 to 2010;
  2. Increase in participation in/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 7 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  3. A steady or increasing percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  4. Performance levels maintained or improved when comparing the percentage of exams in 2010 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2008, or the school has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

Additionally, school districts with an AP student population composed of 50 percent or more traditionally underrepresented minority students (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or low-income students have been noted on the Achievement List to highlight significant improvements in equity and quality among the nation’s historically underserved student populations.

The complete AP Achievement List can be found at

About Corbett School District 39 School District

Corbett School District, in Multnomah County, serves 900 K-12 students. Despite being the lowest funded District in the County Corbett has transformed itself into an academic destination school. High school students are able to participate in 17 Advanced Placement courses, 6 of which arepart of the curriculum for all students. The District’s “AP for All” program has manifested itself in dramatic increases in State Test Scores as well as SAT scores for all students

About the Advanced Placement Program

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by college faculty from some of the nation’s leading institutions, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. AP is accepted by more than 3,800 colleges and universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. This includes over 90 percent of four-year institutions in the United States. In 2010, 1.8 million students representing more than 17,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.2 million AP Exams.

About the College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit

Media Contacts:

Randy Trani, Superintendent Corbett Schools 503-695-3600

Jennifer Topiel, The College Board 212-713-8052