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‘Spectacular’ AP Scores For Morristown High School

Guidance director says students outpacing state and national numbers.

In their final meeting of 2013, the Morris School District Board of Education put Scott White, the new director of guidance on the spot as he shared an update on the advanced placement picture for Morristown High School.

“We did some analysis of the AP data and we are well over the state and national averages,” White said. “And our participation rates are very high.”

According to White, students who take the AP exam will get a score ranging from 1 to 5. The College Board defines the numbers as follows:

  • 5 - Extremely well qualified to receive college credit
  • 4 - Well qualified to receive college credit
  • 3 - Qualified to receive college credit
  • 2 - Possibly qualified to receive college credit
  • 1 - No recommendation to receive college credit 

Although the College Board defines a 2 as "possibly qualified" to receive college credit, almost no college will accept a score of 2. In fact, most selective colleges will not accept a 3 for college credit.

In the majority of cases, a student who scores a 4 or 5 will receive college credit. In rare cases, a school may require a 5. The exact guidelines vary from college to college, and they often vary from department to department within a college. 

White said that Morristown students were in excellent shape, particularly in math and science, as they were far ahead of state and national averages.

“These scores are very hard to get,” White said. “It is pretty spectacular, especially in our natural sciences.”

According to White, Morristown’s passing rate was a head and shoulders above the averages:

  • Morristown: 81.56 percent average.
  • New Jersey: 73 percent average
  • National: 50 percent average

“When I saw some of these numbers, I thought we must have a low participation rate,” said White, who is just beginning his tenure at Morristown after years serving Montclair. “And then when I looked it up I saw that wasn’t the case. We are talking about 40 to 50 percent of our population.”

White said in all but one test, students at MHS scored higher than the national average and in 14 out of 18 tests administered they are significantly above the national average.

“I think this is a case of where the rubber meets the road on this in the class room,” said Morris School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ficarra. “Our teachers have outperformed and we have great kids. But they are paired with great teachers.”

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