The state Department of Education updated Advanced Placement test data for schools across the state last month — five weeks after acknowledging it had posted incorrect scores for the 2015-16 school year.
inewsource brought the faulty data to the attention of the California Department of Education after comparing results with data provided by the College Board, the national organization that administers the test.
Officials said two data analysts each had grabbed the wrong file for 2016 and posted it. That file contained nearly 350,000 more tests than had actually been taken in California, including almost 40,000 in San Diego County.
AP exams are offered to high school students in more than 30 subjects such as calculus, biology, English and art, but the availability of each course varies from school to school. The year-long classes are designed to offer college-level curriculum and exams so students can earn college credit early.
When the discrepancy in the test scores was initially discovered, school officials, policymakers and parents told inewsource they rely on the data posted by the Department of Education because it’s the only place where they can compare scores by county, district and school.
Once the file was updated, pass rates for all but two districts in San Diego County dropped by 1 to 4 percent. The Julian Union High and Lakeside Union school districts decreased by more than 8 percent.
In total, 64,534 AP tests were taken in San Diego County last year. Of those, 40,391 earned a passing score of 3 or higher, or a pass rate of 63 percent. The pass rate for California is 56 percent.
inewsource analyzed the new results and four years prior to create a searchable database for parents, students and teachers to review a school’s performance.
San Diego County schools with the highest AP test pass rates:
- Mueller Charter (Chula Vista Elementary School District) — 100%
- Canyon Crest Academy (San Dieguito Union High School District) — 91.06%
- Westview High (Poway Unified School District) — 90.34%
- Del Norte High (Poway Unified) — 88.96%
- River Valley Charter (Lakeside Union School District) — 88.37%
San Diego County schools with the lowest AP test pass rates:
- Julian High (Julian Union High School District) — 23.81%
- San Diego Science and Technology (San Diego Unified) — 23.46%
- Gompers Preparatory Academy (San Diego Unified) — 20.16%
- Granger Junior High (Sweetwater Union High School District) — 13.79%
- San Diego Business/Leadership (San Diego Unified School District) — 11.54%
The agency responsible for overseeing and analyzing public education data published AP results containing nearly 350,000 more tests than had actually been taken, throwing off pass rates across the state.
The state’s education department announced a new system to notify the public about data releases and updates to existing test score data on its website.
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