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Beyond passing rates: A closer examination of Advanced Placement exam access and success nationally and in urban and rural schools

Carina McCormick, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

As the Advanced Placement (AP) program expands, issues of equity for AP exams are of national importance. This dissertation examines patterns of AP exam taking (access) and of passing the exam (success) by analyzing data from four exam subjects. The analyses especially examined equity in these measures for low income students and minority students. The locale types of large cities and remote areas were an additional focus of the study. The study first addressed access and success in AP exams using more traditional statistical methods. Multilevel modeling was then used to estimate the statistical effects on the probability of passing the exam for minority status and low income status at the student and school level. The models also included tests for the statistical effects of student gender and school locale type. Four findings are highlighted. Within the same school, non-low income students were three times more likely to take the exam than low income students. School low income percentage had an extremely strong negative effect on students' estimated probabilities of passing the exam. For schools in large cities, the negative effect for the percentage of minority students in the school was stronger than for the national model. The negative statistical effect of being a girl was approximately as strong as being a minority student for three of the four exams.^

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements

Recommended Citation

McCormick, Carina, "Beyond passing rates: A closer examination of Advanced Placement exam access and success nationally and in urban and rural schools" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3720671.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3720671

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