Nine high schools in the Atlanta Public Schools district, including Buckhead’s North Atlanta, were named Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools by the Georgia Department of Education when it released its list Feb. 6. Statewide, 255 schools were honored.

Based on how schools’ students fared on AP exams, the department started recognizing AP Honor Schools in 2008. The honor began with three categories: AP Access and Support Schools, AP Challenge Schools and AP Merit Schools. The AP STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and AP STEM Achievement categories were added in 2011, and the AP Humanities category debuted in 2015.

This year two new categories were added: AP Humanities Achievement and AP Expansion Schools. The AP Merit Schools category was renamed AP Schools of Distinction.

North Atlanta was honored in the AP Humanities, AP STEM and AP STEM Achievement categories. Other schools lauded were Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (AP Challenge), Drew Charter (AP Access and Support, AP Expansion, AP Humanities, AP Challenge and AP STEM), Grady (AP Schools of Distinction, AP Humanities, AP Humanities Achievement, AP STEM and AP STEM Achievement), Maynard Jackson (AP STEM), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (AP Challenge and AP STEM), Mays (AP STEM),Therrell (AP Expansion and AP Challenge) and Washington (AP Challenge).

On the statewide level, Georgia’s public-school class of 2019 has the 17th-highest AP pass rate in the country, according to data released by the College Board.

In Georgia, the percentage of class of 2019 public-school students earning a 3 or higher (considered “qualified” to exempt a college course) on an AP exam held steady at 23.2%. The state’s students recorded stronger AP performance than most Southern states, scoring higher than their peers in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The percentage of low-income AP test-takers who scored 3 or higher increased in Georgia, from 43.0% in 2018 to 43.7% last year. This figure is based on the performance of students who used an AP exam fee reduction, which states look to as a marker of equitable participation for low-income students.

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