Brick's High Schools Lag State in Advanced Placement Participation

Neighboring districts participation rate is higher, too

Both and lag behind the state's average when it comes to the number of students who take advanced placement courses.

At BTHS, 8.3 percent of students completed at least one advanced placement test by the end of the 2010-11 school year, according to recently-released state data. At BMHS, 10.3 percent of students took at least one AP test. The percentages at both schools significantly lagged the state average of 22.9 percent of students who completed the tests.

Advanced Placement, or AP, courses are designed to mirror college courses and can be used for college credit at many schools nationwide. Students must complete a test to receive college credit for the course. The state calculated the percentages by dividing the number of students who took at least one AP test by the total number of students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 based on the official enrollment count.

In addition to schools statewide, Brick had a comparatively low percentage of students taking AP courses when compared to other schools in the Shore area. In Toms River, High School East had a 17.3 percent participation rate, High School North had a 14.5 percent participation rate and High School South had an 18.7 percent rate.

In Point Pleasant Borough, there was a 25.5 percent rate and at Southern Regional, 16.7 percent of students participated in the advanced classes.

A Patch survey of state data showed Brick had the second-lowest participation rate in the county, with Lakewood High School students participating at a 4.3 percent rate. BMHS had a higher participation rate than Lacey's 9.1 percent rate.

New Superintendent Walter Uszenski, who begins his job as schools chief today, said in a recent interview that one of his first tasks will be to meet with administrators and perform assessments of the district – then work to increase the rigor of courses at the high school level.

"We're going to make sure that the curriculum is aligned to the written, the taught and the tested areas all the way through," said Uszenski. "We're going to assess where we are, where we want to be and where we want to go."

In Spotswood, where he currently serves as superintendent, Uszenski said there are 20 AP classes offered, and many are taught by teachers who are paid a stipend to teach an extra class, rather than hiring extra staff and paying additional salaries.

Expanding AP course offerrings is one way to increase overall participation.

"If you have a teacher that is willing to teach an extra period, it's a big savings to the taxpayers and the board," Uszenski said at the time.

summerfun July 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
@ 55 plus, as I did the same as my mother did, if I saw that on my kids schedule I went right to the school & told them that they are getting paid to teach my children GIVE Them A CLASS! that I do not want to see any " opened useless time during school" I dont care if the class was a art class or basket weaving, they need to be learning SOMETHING!!, ( one of my children at one point had 2 study halls on their schedule) I insisted that that was unexceptable & to change it .. Which they Did. But I guess as some SEEM TO THINK, that parents dont care about our childrens education. ... The school tried that, But guess what... that didnt work & we do care/
50plusyearsinBrick July 05, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Your children are fortunate that you do care:)... I think my point about parents not caring is that if they are so upset over poor academics and poor AP/SAT scores, why don't they go to BOE meetings? Why don't they go to the school, like you did? it is their child..so they should make the time (again like you did) to fight for the best academic programs just like the fight for athletics all the time. Kudos to you...
summerfun July 05, 2012 at 11:52 PM
@ 55 plus I have 2 out of 3 children that are classified & has to fight & advacate for everything for them
summerfun July 06, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Btw thank you... Its the hardest job, but most rewarding raising children.
Goo Ber August 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Bottom Line the education system in this state, let alone this country is horrible. The gov'ts position is to leave no child behind, so pass them regardless. We have Prinicpals and VP's for every grade at three figures a year. We have superintendants for each town at three figures a year, instead having maybe one per county. Total waste of money. But hey, lets lessen the physical education portions as well as the academic portions. This state/counrty will be the fattest and dumbest country in 10-15 years. And thats not a knock on anyone having weight problems. Thats just a knock towards our priorities as a nation. Children are our future and without proper health and education......we're screwed.


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