Burbank's AP exam pass rate exceeds state, national average

In Burbank, more students are passing advanced-placement exams than students at the state and national levels, according to data released recently.

At Burbank High, there are 18 advanced-placement classes that include English literature, European history and calculus, and Burroughs High offers 16 courses.

Among educators, the courses are thought to be a valuable tool for preparing students for the critical thinking required in college.

Students are also encouraged to take an advanced-placement class and earn a lower grade rather than achieve a higher mark in a regular class.

Upon finishing the advanced course, students take exams where a mark of "three" or higher on a one-to-five scale denotes a passing score.

At Burbank High, nearly 80% of the students enrolled in AP courses during the 2013-14 school year earned a "three" or higher. At Burroughs, about 70% students had the same success.

Emilio Urioste, the district's director of secondary education, shared the data with the school board last Thursday.

Meanwhile, averages across the state and country showed that just over 60% of students who took AP exams passed them with a "three" or greater.

In all, 72.6% of students who took AP exams in 2013-14 passed the test in Burbank, compared to 64.2% across California and the 61.3% nationwide.

Burbank Unified also saw a 6% districtwide hike in the number of students earning passing scores on advanced exams. In 2010, 66.6% of students earned a "three" or higher, which climbed to 72.6% during the 2013-14 school year.

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