Technically Philly: Students and Teachers use Technology and Group Work to Increase AP Scores

Some students found it easier to use traditional methods of studying rather than technology.]

As one of the oldest schools in Philadelphia, Northeast High School is used to change.

In 2010, the school decided to completely overhaul the Advanced Placement program with the hopes of improving student participation and scores on the AP exams. Students and teachers alike responded so positively to these changes that the school saw college-eligible scores triple in just three years.

Prior to the changes, the AP program at Northeast needed quite a bit of work. Although the program had a significant number of students participating, the number of college-eligible scores, consisting of a 3 or better, was only around 10 percent according to the school’s statistics.

Graph courtesy of Northeast High School AP presentation.
Graph courtesy of Northeast High School AP presentation.

With scores not where they needed to be, the school saw this as an opportunity to improve. Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, Northeast implemented a variety of resources to assist the students in their studies. Some of these resources included Saturday practice exams, summer assignments and popular online study tools such as Shmoop and Schoology.

After introducing these resources, not only did participation increase but the teachers saw a huge increase in student dedication to the program.

“Students started staying after school to work on understanding the concepts better and ask questions,” said AP teacher Chris Johnson. “They really cared about doing well in the program and wanted to work hard to get the better scores.”

Find the full story on Technically Philly, our partner organization on this project.

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