Today, the New Mexico Public Education Department announced that for the first time ever, thousands of parents and families across the state will receive a letter informing them that their student has demonstrated a readiness for Advanced Placement courses. This effort builds on Governor Susana Martinez’s commitment to improving access and success in AP courses.
“When our students challenge themselves with Advanced Placement coursework, it shows that they can succeed in a college classroom,” Public Education Department Cabinet Secretary Chris Ruszkowski said. “By continuing to encourage New Mexico students to take more rigorous coursework while still in high school, we’ll be able to help even more kids and families earn college credit – saving them time and money down the road.”
As part of a comprehensive effort to improve AP access and success, the PED will send out more than 2,000 custom letters to the homes of 10th graders that have shown high potential for success in up to 22 specific AP subjects. Those subjects include Calculus, Physics, Microeconomics, Art History, and US Government & Politics. “AP Potential” for those subjects is determined by the PSAT – an assessment that is fully funded for all 10th graders.
Through notifying districts, schools and now families about students’ “AP Potential”, New Mexico’s educators are working together to ensure that every student meets his or her full potential.
“This is an incredible opportunity to keep families in the loop on the best options out there for their kids. Advanced Placement courses are incredible because there is virtually no limit to student growth,” said AP Chemistry and Physics Teacher Hank Starr of Bloomfield. “Students who take AP courses are better prepared for the complexities of the ever changing world they live in.”
In Fall 2017, approximately 70 percent of sophomores took the test. By 2020, the Department’s goal is to have 90 percent of sophomores taking AP tests as more and more schools, educators, and students continue to rise to the challenge of higher standards.
In 2017, New Mexico students passed 6,028 AP exams. At an average of more than $200 per credit hour, New Mexico students and families could save as much as $4.26 million on college tuition costs. Since Governor Martinez took office, New Mexico students are taking 63 percent more Advanced Placement exams, and more than twice as many students are taking AP courses than in 2010.
Governor Martinez continues to expand access to Advanced Placement courses for New Mexico students. Since Governor Martinez took office, New Mexico has invested more than $10 million to support AP programs in New Mexico. Additionally, New Mexico now offers more training for AP teachers, and is expanding access to online AP courses so more rural and underserved students can access the program. New Mexico also provides waivers for students from low-income families that lower the cost for Advanced Placement exams to $3. Last year, nearly half of AP exam takers (4,707 students) benefited from this waiver.
Advanced Placement is a program and set of exams operated by the College Board, a national non-profit membership organization committed to excellence and equity in education. Every year, the College Board puts together the AP Report to the Nation – which compiles student performance on AP exams across the country.