Friday, May 24, 2019

Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf is the top Advanced Placement school in Iowa, according to the Iowa AP Index.

The index, developed in 2005 by the University of Iowa College of Education's Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, assesses Advanced Placement (AP) participation among accredited public and nonpublic schools in Iowa. The index is part of the Belin-Blank Center’s efforts to recognize Iowa schools that provide challenging academic opportunities for high school students. 

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program allows students to pursue college-level studies and take college-level exams while in high school. In May 2018, more than 2.8 million students took over 5 million AP Exams in 38 subjects.

Rounding out the top 5 schools in the 2019 Iowa AP Index behind first-place Rivermont (index of 4.71) are Valley High School (2nd, West Des Moines, index of 2.70), Valley Lutheran High School (3rd, Cedar Falls, index of 2.55) Roosevelt High School (4th, Des Moines, index of 2.48); and West Senior High School (5th, Iowa City, index of 2.26).

“Advanced Placement opportunities make a big difference in the lives of the students and their teachers. The rating reflects participation in the AP program at a school, not the overall quality of the school. However, one indication of a high school’s commitment to preparing high-ability students for college is access to advanced courses.Schools that make these opportunities available to the students are clearly committed to the success of the entire student body,” said Susan Assouline, director of the Belin-Blank Center.

The Iowa AP Index is designed to give a fair comparison of AP opportunity across Iowa schools. An index score is calculated for each participating school based on the ratio of AP exams taken by all its students divided by the number of its graduating seniors. 

Through the Belin-Blank Center’s Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA), funded by the State of Iowa through an appropriation to the University of Iowa, all accredited high schools have access to free tuition for online AP courses and online AP Exam Reviews.Iowa’s eligible middle school students also had access to free high-school level coursework through IOAPA, in order to prepare them for future AP courses in high school. The Belin-Blank Center also provides outreach and professional development for teachers through the College Board-accredited Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute.