- Associated Press - Saturday, October 7, 2017

RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Alabama has the best advanced placement score growth in the country.

Al.com reports that Alabama has had the highest percentage of growth in qualifying scores in AP classes in math, science, and English of any state in the country for the sixth year in a row. The state has also been the country’s best in highest growth in the same category from the period between 2008-2017.

The numbers were announced this week at Russellville High School in northwest Alabama.

This past spring, Alabama public high school students took 49,860 AP exams and earned 26,279 qualifying scores, the equivalent of more than $47 million in college tuition, according to A Plus College Ready.

The program has grown steadily since 2008, when students took 14,634 exams and earned 8,565 qualifying scores.

“Our students developed a mindset that they would be better prepared for life after high school regardless of perception,” said Jason Goodwin, Russellville High School principal. “When I refer to perception, I speak on behalf of an entire school eligible for free lunches, a school system filled with such great diversity that some have said will break Russellville, yet it has made it stronger.”

Russellville entered the program in 2014 and students earned 60 qualifying scores this year. The high school has nearly 750 students - half of who are white and 40 percent that are Hispanic.

Russellville High School is one of five schools statewide to receive the designation as an A Plus College Ready “School of Excellence.

Schools in the program receive teacher training, support from master teachers, and incentives for teachers and students, in AP math, science, English, social studies, and computer science, according to A Plus College Ready.

Last year, 24,908 of Alabama’s public school students took 46,007 exams, and earned qualifying scores on 17,109 of those exams. Statewide detailed information about 2017 AP exam results will be released next week.

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