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Bossier students shatter AP records

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The Bossier School System is being singled out by the Louisiana Department of Education as a leader in the state for its 2015 Advanced Placement (AP) scores.

Not only did the number of Bossier Parish high school students taking AP courses increase in 2014-15, so did those that scored a three (out of a possible five) or higher on exams, far exceeding the state average. This amounts to more than 1,170 college credit hours earned across the district and sets a record for Bossier Parish Schools.

Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen, Jr. was contacted personally by representatives from the DOE to inform him the district’s scores rank among the top in the state. A total of 1,140 students in Bossier took AP exams in 2014-15, marking a 41-percent increase over the previous year. By comparison, 291 students overall took AP exams in 2012-13; an increase of 292-percent in two years’ time.

Breaking down the statistics further, 304 students scored a three or higher on the AP exams during the past academic year, equating to a 50-percent increase from just one year ago. Of those 304 students, 81 took multiple AP exams and scored a three or higher.

“I want to applaud both our students and teachers for these outstanding results,” Supt. Machen said. “This is also indicative that investing in public schools by increasing student access to AP courses and providing professional development for teachers is truly a win for the betterment of our community.”

Ken Bradford, Assistant State Superintendent for the Office of Content, added, “It’s not common we see the performance level continue to go up with such a large increase in the number of students taking exams. That’s a real accomplishment.”

In May 2014 Bossier Schools was awarded a nearly $1 million grant by the National Math and Science Initiative to expand the AP program. The grant, made possible by the Department of Defense Educational Activity Fund, also provided training and support for Bossier Parish educators. In addition, the district and state funded several workshops and professional development.

When students complete AP coursework, it demonstrates to colleges they have sought an educational experience that will prepare them for success. Research has consistently shown students who score a three or higher on AP exams typically earn a higher grade point average in college and have higher graduation rates. For parents, it means a significant cost savings.

Many Bossier Parish students begin their collegiate career as sophomores and complete their education sooner.