STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES AND ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS
Arredondo, Jorge Luis
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Educational leaders are faced with the challenge of preparing more students than ever to be college ready. Many school districts in the US have turned to offering the Advanced Placement (AP) program to add rigor to the curriculum. Focusing on one urban district in the Southwest, this study examined students achieving a qualifying score of 3 or higher (AP student achievement) on AP exams, and examined variances in AP student achievement across different high schools over a seven-year period. Also, the study examined whether AP student achievement showed differences between teachers with varying attainment levels of hours of professional development (PD) training over a six-year period. The study further conducted several analyses of AP student achievement and examined the differences between other dependent variables: student potential (student PSAT score), school characteristic (school mean PSAT), and student backound as a participant (low SES) or non-participant (high SES) in the free or reduced lunch federal program. Lastly, the study collected responses from teachers in a focus group about the quality and utility of their PD experiences. The analysis revealed overall increases in student participation in AP exams by 75% from 2007 to 2013. However, the percent of AP exams taken that scored a three or higher decreased from 47% of the total number of exams taken in 2007 to 33% in 2013. The results also revealed differences in student achievement between students identified as low SES even when controlling for student potential (student PSAT Index), and levels of teacher PD. Findings from the study should inform best practices to develop PD experiences for teachers involved in the AP programs and create more successful learning experiences for AP students.