Canyons is among six school districts in Utah being recognized by the College Board for opening Advanced Placement (AP) programs to a broader pool of students while also improving pass rates. Additionally, three CSD high schools rank in Utah’s top 10 for AP participation or pass rates: Brighton, Corner Canyon and Hillcrest.
More than 25,000 public school students in Utah took a total of 38,685 AP exams in 2016a 6 percent bump in participation from 2015. Sixty-six percent scored high enough (earned scores of 3, 4, or 5) to earn college credit on those exams, according to a Utah State Board of Education analysis of College Board data. That’s well above the national average pass rate of 55.9 percent.
A growing number of economically disadvantaged students also are taking AP exams. Utah saw a 10 percent jump in test-takers who are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch, the Utah State Board of Education reports.
Dr. Hal Sanderson, Director of Research and Assessment attributes Canyons District’s high performance to the decision years ago to move the ninth grade into high school, which gave students a jump on a wide range of AP courses, from history to world language courses. He also credits CSD’s philosophy of open enrollment for middle school honors courses, which gives all middle-school-aged students the opportunity to be exposed at an early age to more rigorous coursework.