An Illusion of AP Success?


In 2015, Douglas County School System was one of six districts in Georgia to receive the College Board’s prestigious AP District Honor Roll recognition. Sounds impressive right? One might conclude from this fact that the district has a very healthy AP program.

Consider the fact, though, that in 2015, the failure rate on AP Exams in Douglas County was 77% (compared with 44% in Georgia) and the mode score was the lowest possible score of 1 (compared with a mode of 3 in Georgia).

What you were not told is that the reference point for the ‘increase’ in passing rate was the 16% passing rate (84% failure rate!) in 2013, and  that the passing rate steadily declined in the years prior to 2013, bottoming out that year.

Also, that year four high schools were named AP Honor Schools for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) because students tested in at least two science subjects and two math subjects.

Consider the fact, though, that in 2015, there were 8 STEM AP course that had a 100% failure rate in 2015. And the average score for most subjects was less than 2.

To learn more about these awards and the real facts see our updated analysis:

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