Program to boost AP courses at California schools

About 200 California public schools, including 30 in Los Angeles County, will be eligible to receive funding for additional Advanced Placement courses through an initiative announced Tuesday.

The pilot program, created by the College Board, which administers the AP exams, will provide funding for the next three years to schools that currently offer fewer than eight AP courses but have many students with strong AP potential.

The College Board will also pay for teachers to attend AP training courses, and schools will receive funding for textbooks and other materials.

Through analysis of the state high school students’ 2011 preliminary SAT test scores, the College Board estimates that more than 168,000 students have the potential to do well in at least one AP course but attend schools that do not offer those courses.

State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement that given the dire budget situation in California, the state is fortunate to be able to receive funds that give students access to AP course work “where they will learn how to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — all skills that prepare students for success in college and beyond.”