Carson High improves advanced placement exam scores

Recent results show Nevada students improved scores in advanced placement exams for two years straight and Carson High School also showed improvement.

Principal Tasha Fuson said 75 percent of CHS students who took AP exams scored a 3 or higher, compared to 52 percent of the state and 60 percent globally.

In Nevada overall, performance on AP exams increased 10.8 percent with scores implying college readiness, with 47 percent of total exams receiving passing scores.

Those passing scores are either a 3, 4, or 5; a 3 indicates a student would receive a C in a freshman college course covered by the exam, a 4 indicates a B in a freshman college course and a 5 indicates an A.

“This is a notable achievement,” Fushon said. “We’re proud that we were able to increase the number of students to take these exams. It’s a testament for students, staff and leaders in our school.”

Carson High School has seen an increase in AP students and testing during the last five years. In 2013, 186 students took 325 exams. In 2016-17, 234 students took 500 exams.

As for the other public schools in the state, 20,697 students — an increase of 13.3 percent — took 36,850 AP exams as of last May.

“Another important thing is when you have more tests given and students taking those tests, scores may go down,” Fuson said. “But that didn’t happen at CHS. The passing rate is well above the state and global.”

Part of the increase is contributed by the variety of AP classes CHS offers, on top of implementing Western Nevada College’s Jump Start program. Fuson said the school is lucky to possess both.

The Jump Start program is for students who want to advance early and enroll in college-level classes at WNC. AP classes are taken at the high school for students to explore college-level class options, while still being involved in the high school’s culture.

To keep these results at a steady momentum, Fuson said CHS is planning to offer more AP classes, such as economics and geography.

CHS added four new AP classes this year: Art history, stats, music theory, and computer science.

“It’s about looking at what kids are interested in,” she said. “The next step is to encourage students in the middle, such as families with a certain income or with parents that did not attend college. We want to support middle level students to access those courses on campus.”

Fuson said CHS is a part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination, a non-profit international program that provides professional learning for educators to improve college readiness for their students and that will help with the next step.


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