Advanced Placement Update by Randy Trani

During the 2005 school year Corbett School began expanding the AP program from a few select students taking a dozen or so tests per year to 166 exams during the 2007 school year.  During 2007 about one third of the student body participated in the AP program. This growth represented a huge improvement in access and equity for students. But, it was not enough. Denying opportunity by restricting access to AP courses for the other two thirds of the population was a self-fulfilling prophecy that would result in the loss of opportunity for students not enrolled in AP.  It was a moral obligation to set a goal to further improve equity and access.

During the 2008 school year Corbett launched its “AP for ALL” program.  Since 2008 participation in AP courses has become nearly universal for students in Corbett.  A culture has grown where the most common course request from a student is “Can I have another AP course?”  Now the average student at Corbett takes just over 11 AP courses in their career, an astounding number!

I have long championed the notion that taking AP courses is of immense value even for students who score a one or a two on their exam.  Indeed, in an AP for ALL climate a previously underserved student who earns a one or a two on an exam may have learned more from a” knowledge add perspective” than a student who started the course with other advantages.  However, something else wonderful is happening at Corbett. Our goal of providing equity and access is now also manifesting itself in achievement on the AP exams.

In Oregon, only about 14% of the Class of 2010 passed one or more Advanced Placement exams by the end of their high school careers. This year in Corbett School over 17% of the entire student body was named an AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor, or an AP Scholar with Distinction! Further, more than 45% of the entire student body of Corbett School passed one or more AP tests.  This 45% pass rate approximately triples the pass rate in Oregon for the average student’s entire high school career!  Corbett School students’ achievements are not average!

Through meeting a moral obligation to provide equity and access to ALL students, Corbett School has provided students with an opportunity, the opportunity associated with achievement.  I look forward to continuing our work on providing equity, access, and achievement to ALL students in Corbett School.

Yours in education,
Randy Trani Ed. D.

PDF version of AP Program Update