Madison County Schools gave the most AP exams in the state

MADISON COUNTY Ala. -- Madison County Schools earned the achievement of having the most advanced placement qualifying test scores in the entire state of Alabama.

They also gave a record number of AP exams, for the district, as well as the most in the state. Over 3,100 Madison County students took AP exams last school year, and over 1,100 of those students earned qualifying scores.

"If there's a state championship trophy we're just claiming it, that we're the state champion in AP qualifying scores," said Matt Massey, the Superintendent Madison County Schools.

A qualifying AP test score earns students college credit and therefore saves them money, he said.

"Hazel Green had 70 freshmen that passed the AP World History exam," said Massey. "So if you think world history is a three-hour credit, tuitions $400 an hour, that's $1,200 a course. So you think that t1,200 times 1,100, we saved over a million dollars in tuition for our families."

Massey said even if students don't earn a qualifying score, the course still prepares students for college. He said research shows that students who take AP classes are more likely to earn a four-year degree in four years.

"So if you're a parent and you want your kid on the four-year college plan, put them in AP in high school and we'll get them ready," he stated.
Massey said the district made a push to get more students in AP classes. They trained teachers and start preparing students for AP course in the sixth grade.
"We want to reach those rationally underserved groups, really those low-income students. That traditionally would avoid these high-level classes, became there may be an exam fee or things like that. So we work with them on the exam fee, and we really want to encourage and support them so they'll be successful in that class too," Massey said

He said they first focused on math, science, and English courses, then AP history options as well as computer science.

"I think what's going forward you're going to see advanced placement in elective courses. In art and music, studio design, psychology, those kinds of things," Massey explained.
He said all of the five high schools in the district set records last year, and they will continue to try and set even higher ones.