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Schools report gains in advanced testing
Students taking Advanced Placement exams at Glynn County's two public high schools made significant gains in 2012 over last year.

Scores are up, testing director Joan Boorman reported Tuesday to the board of education at its second meeting of the month.

"I think you will be pleased," Boorman said.

Brunswick High School saw a 9 percent increase in the number of students earning a grade of 3 or higher on the tests, jumping to 53 percent schoolwide in 2012. The highest possible score that can be earned on an AP test is 5.

College credit is awarded at a score of 3 or higher, depending on the institution. A score of 3 is considered passing.

Brunswick High has almost doubled the number of passing students since 2010, when only 27 percent of tested students earned a passing grade of at least 3.

Glynn Academy saw 59 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher, an 11 percent increase over 2011. Glynn Academy beat the state average of 57 percent, while Brunswick High fell short by 4 percent.

Both fell short of the global average, which is 61 percent. Advanced Placement exams are administered by the College Board and based on a more rigorous course of study.

Boorman said beating state averages at both schools is a preliminary goal, and beating the global average the end goal.

Board member John Madala asked how the school system could reach that goal.

Assistant superintendent for student achievement Ricky Rentz said properly advising students is a good start. Percentages this year likely increased because fewer students are taking the courses, which isn't a bad thing, he said.

Because the courses are college level in difficulty, advisors at both high schools have been encouraging students who may not be considered ready to take other courses.

Madala wants to see a written plan on how to improve scores over the next several years.

Testing director Boorman also reported that 18 Brunswick High students earned 31 college credits through the dual enrollment program with College of Coastal Georgia. At Glynn Academy, 13 students earned 25 college credits. All students had grade point averages above 3.5, she said.

Board member Ray Snow said he would like to see dual enrollment numbers rise.

"This seems to be more of a manageable goal for above average students than AP," Snow said.

Dual enrollment is paid for by the HOPE Scholarship program. The school system still gets funding credits for each student enrolled, Rentz added.

In other business, school superintendent Howard Mann announced that the building formerly known as Risley Early College Academy will now be referred to as Risley Annex and will house central registration, as well as other departments previously housed in the District Learning Center on O Street.

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