Monday, August 12, 2013

AP Scores: MHA vs. The Nation

*National averages are from 2012, the most recent available
Each year at this time, I find myself facing the same dilemma.  On the one hand, over the past few years we have not been quiet about voicing our concern over the use of standardized testing as the sole barometer for measuring student and teacher success.  So much of what we believe to be important in education, and many of the elements which we believe are vital in preparing our students for success in the world that lays ahead of them, have little or no place in the standard set of nationally administered exams.

On the other hand, we still have to work within a system, particularly a system of higher education, that continues to look at standardized test scores for the purposes of admissions and scholarship awards.  As such, we at the MHA continue to offer a wide array of college level Advanced Placement courses every year which culminate in a standardized test each May.  And, though the underlying educational approach may not be our ideal, our students continue to amaze us with their outstanding results.

Impressive as our scores were when compared to the national averages, the most eye-opening numbers may not have been the scores at all.  Rather, they may have been the number of students who took at least one exam - 33 - and the number of exams taken - 65 - given that we only had 60 students in total between both high schools in grades 10-12.  That means over half of our students did college level work while still in high school this year, whereas in most other schools APs are limited to a far smaller percentage of the most academically gifted students.  And yet, of the 33 students who did such work in our high schools this year, 19 of them were recognized by the College Board for their achievement: 6 as AP Scholars, 5 as AP Scholars with Honors, 7 as AP Scholars with Distinction, and 1 as a National AP Scholar.

While ultimate credit goes to our students for their performance, our faculty deserve almost as much praise for having prepared them so well.  What's more, as the scores indicate, this year's success was across the board and in all subject areas, which attests to the strength of the faculty which Rabbi Lubetski has assembled and leads in our Upper School Division.

Congratulations to all on a job superbly done.

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