RRPS AP Programs Earn Praise from Governor, Ed Secretary

RRHS AP Test Participation and Pass Rates Remain Strong
Posted on 01/11/2018
Governor Martinez with AP studentsGovernor Susana Martinez touted Rio Rancho Public Schools Advanced Placement (AP) programs during a visit to Rio Rancho High School to announce a program designed to help economically-disadvantaged students participate in AP programs and testing.  She's shown here with AP students Marcos Mendez, Gabriella Mayes, Angelina Lopez, Anna Smith, and Jade Gonzales.  

RRPS has one of the highest AP participation rates in the state and, according to Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski, “is leading the way in terms of providing more kids with access to AP courses and exams, but also getting more kids to pass with that score of 3 or better.” In 2017, 856 Rio Rancho students enrolled in AP classes, up from 277 students in 2007, with 1,408 exams taken. Despite the large increase in the number of students from across the academic spectrum taking AP courses, RRPS AP test-takers have maintained high pass rates. 

NM Education Secretary Ruszkowski with AP studentsAdvanced Placement courses provide students with the opportunity to take college-level courses while in high school. At the end of the year, students can take rigorous AP tests. Based on the results – a passing grade is 3, with 4 and 5 earning a student honors or distinction accolades – colleges may award course credit to AP students. This can result in students completing college degrees more quickly, saving money on tuition and living expenses.

The New Mexico Public Education Department program waives $90 of the $93 AP per-exam test fee for low-income students, bringing the cost for participation in AP programs and testing within reach. Statewide, the results have been dramatic, with 19,526 students enrolling in AP courses in 2017. RRHS AP senior Anna Smith at podium Rio Rancho High senior Anna Smith, who will have 10 AP courses under her belt by the time she graduates, noted the state’s help in reducing test fees was a big help, as well as allowing her to “think outside the box.”

Superintendent Sue Cleveland calls AP “one of Rio Rancho’s crown-jewel programs,” saying, “We live in a society that has so many challenges today, and so we need people who are not only knowledgeable, but are good thinkers, who are problem-solvers, who can take that knowledge and make the world a better place.”