Dougherty County high schools recognized for AP classes

Three Dougherty County high schools received recognition for achievements in AP courses / File

Three Dougherty County high schools received awards for Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Albany High School and Dougherty Comprehensive High School won the AP Challenge School for having fewer than 900 students and students taking AP classes take all four AP test subjects. Westover High School received the AP STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) School for having students take two AP exams in science and two AP exams in mathematics.

"We're trying to increase the number of students taking more rigorous courses because it will definitely better prepare you for college, post secondary education or technical college," says Renee Bridges, DCSS Test Coordinator.

The AP recognition isn't the only achievement the school system is celebrating.

"Last year to this year we've increased 190 students, and 23 students increased by scoring a three, four or five and that definitely gives them a jump on college," says Bridges.

Higher enrollment in AP classes is something not only seen in Dougherty County schools but across the entire state.

When it comes to public school students enrolling in AP courses and taking the exams, Georgia is a national leader, according to the State Department of Education. Only five other states in the country had a greater percentage of AP exam takers last year. The percentage of Georgia seniors who took an AP exam was 38.2%, compared to 30.2% for the nation.

The State Board of Education also announced that Georgia ranks 13th in the nation in the percentage of seniors scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams, according to The College Board's AP Report to the Nation released Wednesday. This report measures progress of the class of 2011.

"More Georgia students than ever before are taking AP courses and passing the exam," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "Success on AP exams means that students are prepared for college and careers, which is our ultimate goal." Governor Nathan Deal added, "Our state's excellent performance on AP exams demonstrates our success in cultivating excellence. With hard work and perseverance, young Georgians have the tools to achieve their dreams. Students who earn passing grades on Advanced Placement tests get a jump start on college and, in the long run, they help the state. These students represent the 'best and brightest' and are the future economic engines of Georgia. They also save our colleges and universities money by earning class credits."

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today named 367 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools. Three Dougherty County High Schools made the list.

"Georgia has much to be proud of when it comes to the success of Advanced Placement," Superintendent Barge said. "Much of this success can be attributed to the dedication to rigor and excellence at each of our AP Honor Schools."