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Bob Jones AP students far exceed state peers

Principal Robby Parker couldn’t keep quiet after learning testing results for students in advanced placement (AP) classes at Bob Jones High School.

“I couldn’t wait until Monday to announce this,” Parker said on Oct. 25 after receiving the data. The percentage of Bob Jones students that passed AP tests in all subjects far exceeded other Alabama students. “The AP results we have blow it out of the water.”

Parker explained that Alabama has 400 high schools with 219,774 students (as of 2010). The 2098 students at Bob Jones account for less than one percent of that population total.

In two calculus classes, “17 percent of total passing scores in Alabama came from Bob Jones,” Parker said. That figure even increases in computer science at 21 percent.

“You can see that we have less than one percent of the students but score much higher in all areas,” Parker said. “I really love the academic prowess of our students.”

Other top percentages were physics, electricity and magnetism, 25 percent; physics, mechanics, 23; environmental science, 13; music theory, 15; music aural, 20; music non-aural, 14 percent, Latin, 21; and French, 22.

With similar results, other AP classes at Bob Jones are psychology, statistics, geography, European history, English composition and literature, economics, Spanish, government, U.S. history, biology and chemistry.

AP courses are college-level classes taught to a particular standard. “To earn college-level credit, you have to pass a very rigorous test at the end of the course — a two- to four-hour test,” he said.

“Our counselors, assistant principals and registrar do such a great job at building the schedule. Teachers are so flexible,” Parker said.

Eight years ago, Bob Jones introduced four AP classes and now offers 24.

“It’s not only about the highest academic kids. No matter where you are — the highest scoring or a student with a disability who struggles –” Bob Jones students perform well, Parker said. Recently, “Bob Jones was the only high school in Alabama with standard scores to achieve Average Yearly Progress (AYP) for special education students.”

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