"We've worked hard to give Illinois students the chance to take
advanced courses that give them a jump start on a successful
future," said Gov. Blagojevich. "Research tells us that taking more
advanced classes in high school encourages students to challenge
themselves, giving them academic gains and boosting their confidence
for success beyond high school."
In 2006, a record number of Illinois high school students -- more
than 43,700 -- took AP Exams, compared to just over 17,600 students
in 1996. Since 2001, the number of students participating in AP has
steadily increased by 17,034 or 63.7 percent.
In addition, a record 76,683 AP tests were taken by college-bound
students with nearly 70 percent scoring at the "3" to "5" levels to
receive college credit. That represents a 13.7 percent increase over
the number of tests taken in 2005: 67,456. The number of AP Exams
scored 3 or higher taken has also increased by 19,912 or 59.2
percent since 2001. "It's good to see a growing number of students
challenging themselves and gaining academic achievement through this
program," said Christopher Koch, Interim State Superintendent. "It's
critical that we provide all students, especially those who are at
risk, the chance to take courses that challenge them and help them
see the broad range of opportunities open to them after high
The Report shows that more low-income, African-American, and
Hispanic or Latino students are taking AP Exams. The increase is
due, in part to a $1.5 million grant awarded in FY 2006 that allowed
28 districts to expand their AP classes and programs. Illinois has
also been awarded federal dollars as part of No Child Left Behind to
help promote AP classes to low-income students.
The Report uses data from all schools -- both public and
non-public -- that participate in AP to identify schools that are
leading the way in AP performance worldwide. Six of Illinois's
public and non-public schools were recognized:
Cristo Rey Jesuit
High School, Chicago
and Science Academy, Aurora
Keith Country Day
Preparatory High School, Chicago
College Preparatory, Chicago
University of Chicago
Lab High School, Chicago
[to top of second column]
As part of his work to improve education in Illinois schools,
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed both SB 575, the Higher Standards,
Better Schools Act and SB 574, the College and Career Success for
all Students Act, into law in August 2005. The Higher Standards,
Better Schools Act helps college-bound high school students prepare
better for their work in higher education by strengthening the
state's high school graduation requirements. Enhanced graduation
requirements are proven to improve student test scores. Gov.
Blagojevich fought for increased education funding to support his
Higher Standards, Better Schools plan in the FY 2006 budget. These
increases included an increase of $1.5 million for Advanced
Gov. Blagojevich signed the College and Career Success for all
Students Act into law in 2005. The legislation provides for staff
development training and support for students enrolled or preparing
for Advanced Placement classes. This includes pre-AP programming in
middle or high schools.
AP courses are taught by high school teachers who follow course
guidelines developed and published by the College Board. Students
can earn high school credit, advanced placement and college credit
based on their performance on rigorous AP Exams. Students must score
a "3" or above to receive college credit.
Illinois' AP Facts include:
15.1 percent of
Illinois' 2006 graduating class scored a "3" or higher on an AP
Exam at some point in their high school career. This compares to
14.8 percent for the nation.
8.5 percent of
Illinois' 2006 graduating class scored "3" or higher on one or
more Social Science AP Exam – more than any other subject area.
In 2001, 1,841
low-income students participated in AP classes -- compared to
6,229 students in 2006.
The number of AP
Exams taken by African-American public students increased by
1,049 between 1996 and 2001. In 2006, there were 3,546
African-American students participating -- compared to 1,358 in
Number of Hispanic
or Latino students participating in 2001: 1,945; 2006: 4,442.
The College Board is the not-for-profit membership association
that administers the
Advanced Placement Program®.
[Text copied from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]