Dr. Carey Wright Credit: Mississippi Department of Education

The Mississippi Department of Education announced an increase in the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses as well as an increased number scoring a level 3 or higher on the tests.

In the 2016-2017 school year, 14.2 percent more students took AP exams than in the prior school year. In addition, the number of students scoring a 3 or higher — the level required to earn college credit — increased by almost 20 percent. Among minority students, the number scoring a 3 or higher increased 28 percent.

“The AP experience is beneficial to students because it exposes them to college-level material and helps them develop the study skills that are needed to be successful in college,” said Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “As schools continue to provide students with challenging learning opportunities, AP achievement in Mississippi will continue to rise.”

The state education department began an initiative in the 2015-2016 school year to increase AP participation, and the federal government provided Mississippi with a grant to subsidize the cost of AP exams for students from low-income families. 

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.