HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions leads the nation in the number of African-American students taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus exams.

In the 5th Annual AP Report to the Nation, the College Board, which administers the AP program, announced that DeBakey High School had the highest number of African-American students who scored three or higher in AP Calculus AB course in the country. In fact, more than 93 percent of the students achieved a score of 3, 4, or 5. Five is the top score on the exam. The number of students at DeBakey scoring a three or higher in AP exams also increased 11% from last year.

“This achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work put in by our students in response to the challenging curriculum and high expectations that we have set,” said DeBakey Math Teacher Anil Desai. “It is also a reflection of the effective collaboration among mathematics teachers in our school. We have a strong support from our school administration to pursue a rigorous and unique college-bound curriculum in this journey towards excellence.”

“We set goals of high achievement for all of our students at DeBakey,” said Principal Linda Lazenby. “Then we provide the extra support and encouragement they need to be successful.”

The State of Texas also exceeded the national average in the percentage of students who took at least one Advanced Placement exam during high school.

Information released this week by the College Board, found that 27.5 percent of Texas public school students in the Class of 2008 took at least one AP exam while in high school, compared to 25 percent for the nation.

Universities often award course credit to students who earn a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an AP test so a strong performance on these exams can save Texas students thousands of dollars in college tuition costs.

“Data shows that by taking these AP courses and exams, students are better prepared for college,” said HISD Director of Advanced Academics Tracye Wear. “We celebrate DeBakey’s AP scores of 3 and higher. In particular, we celebrate African-American students who took the AP exams last May; their scores of 3, 4 and 5 are up 93.3% from the previous year. It’s amazing work.”

The AP Report to the Nation can be accessed at http://www.collegeboard.com/.