- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska students’ scores on Advanced Placement exams are lagging behind the national average.

A report Tuesday from the College Board shows nearly 15 percent of Alaska seniors scored a 3 or higher last year on the exam, which is a way to earn college credit. Most colleges or universities require a score of at least 3 on a scale of 1-5 to award credit.

The national average was about 20 percent.

However, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development responded by noting that data involving Alaska was affected by the small size of many of the state’s schools. Another contributing factor was that teachers of AP courses must be trained by the College Board, which doesn’t provide training in Alaska, the department said.

The report shows few American Indian or Alaska Native students take the Advanced Placement exams.

State education officials said the Alaska Performance Scholarship, a merit-based, state-sponsored program, is an incentive for high school students to do well on college-entrance exams.

In 2013, just over a million U.S. students participated in the Advanced Placement program with the goal of developing college-level knowledge and skills.

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