Harlingen one of more than 400 schools in U.S. on list

HARLINGEN – “Hey, mom. Hey, dad. I made the honor roll.”

That’s exciting enough when you’re a student in the public schools. However, if you ARE a public school – or in this case a district – the stakes are much higher. Now it’s the AP Honor Roll or, more specifically, the 6th Annual AP Honor Roll.

The Harlingen school district has made the list this year.

The AP Honor Roll is issued by the College Board, a not-for-profit organization which connects students to college success and opportunity. The AP Honor Roll gauges how well school districts are encouraging students to take AP courses.

Harlingen is one of more than 400 other school districts across the United States to make the list. Santa Rosa and Sharyland school districts also made it.

The College Board lists three main criteria for a district to make the honor roll.

First of all, large school districts must increase student participation/access to AP courses by

4 percent for a period of three years. Harlingen did better than that, said Alicia Noyola, chief academic officer.

“We actually had an 8 percent increase,” Noyola said.

The Honor Roll also requires an increase in the number of students scoring a 3 or higher. On this point, Noyola sounded almost jubilant.

“We had an 18-percent increase in the number of students who scored 3 or better,” she said.

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Inclusion on the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2013 to 2015, for the following criteria.

– Increased participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;

– Increased or maintained the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, and;

– Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2015 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2013, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.