The results of the 2010 Advanced Placement test are in, and I was able to get scores from the College Board website pretty easily. (Just know to log in to the Education Professionals site and not the pages that extensively describe the online score access without linking to it.)
The main surprise for me was that 50% of my students scored 1. The other 50% got 3 or better. While I know very well about the two hump problem, and I’m also aware that it’s easy for students with some knowledge to get a 1 on the exam, I’m still disappointed. It feels like this means FRQs were left blank.
A first look at the correlations to previous assessments says that I was pretty accurate predicting the scores of the passing students, but couldn’t tell which ones would completely fail with a 1 versus get a 3. I think the next step in improving my understanding of this exam and student performance is to actually be an AP grader. Since next year will be my 3rd year teaching this course, I’ll be eligible.
When I started questioning the purpose of keeping students in the course that are clearly not doing well, one of my colleagues here gave me a great way to look at the situation: As educators, we should look at our cumulative AP score as the measure of our success. So instead of thinking of those 1′s as dragging down my average, I’m thinking of them contributing (but not as much as I’d like) to the total. This shift of perspective is going to be important as we continue to try to open the AP courses to more students.