Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is changing its Advanced Placement (AP) testing and payment procedures.
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Amy Hollstein told the Board of Education on May 13 the changes are needed to promote both college and career readiness and to provide equitable resources for all students.
Starting next year, CCPS will eliminate all mock AP exams except U.S. Government, require AP students to take the class final exam and only reimburse payment for tests on which students receive a 3 or better. Currently, students pay for their first AP exam and the school system picks up the cost of any subsequent tests. Additionally, the school system will now pay for career certification tests, such as welding, Parapro or cosmetology exams, if a student passes and receives their certification.
Replacing the mock exams will be formative assessments, which teachers will administer in the first semester in order to address instructional needs. AP students will also take post-tests in February and take the final class exam. Currently, students who take the AP exam are exempt from the final; however, AP exam scores are available until late summer.
“Over the years we have done a good job of encouraging more students to take rigorous AP courses. Just being in an AP course has its benefits, and we will continue to encourage high participation and enrollment,” Hollstein said.
However, Hollstein said, “We want a student to take the test because they are motivated to take it.” Now, she said many students are only sitting for the exam to avoid the class final.
Charles County is one of the last counties in the state paying for most AP exams, Hollstein said. She added that the system would continue to pick up the exam cost for any student unable to pay the fee.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela Murphy, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, central office building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646. 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.