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Greenwich High Is Ahead of Curve in AP Enrollment

GREENWICH, Conn. — Greenwich High School is ahead of the national average in numbers of students taking advanced placement and advanced math courses, according to an independent study. Greenwich students are also on par with or ahead of other lower Fairfield County schools.

ProPublica examined federal data from the 2010-11 school year to create the first nationwide picture of which courses are being taken at districts across the country.

Advanced placement courses allow high school students to take college level classes. Greenwich High offers 20 AP courses, while New Canaan offers 16 and Darien offers 17. Stamford High School offers five AP courses, Westhill High offers six and the Academy of Information & Technology offers two.

Greenwich High is similar to New Canaan High School and Darien High School in number of students who take at least one advanced placement course. In Greenwich, 23 percent of students take AP classes, while 24 percent do in Darien and New Canaan. Each school is well above the national average of 16 percent, according to the study’s findings.

In all Stamford schools, including Westhill High, Stamford High and AITE, just 4 percent of students take at least one AP course.

At Greenwich High, 22 percent of students take advanced math classes such as geometry or trigonometry, compared with the national average of 16 percent. In Darien, 26 percent of students and 33 percent in New Canaan take advanced math classes. In each Stamford school, 13 percent to 20 percent of students are enrolled in advanced math classes.

ProPublica also studied the number of inexperienced teachers in each school. It defines inexperienced teachers as those in their first or second year. ProPublica said experience is an important factor in the quality of teaching, which has a direct impact on students’ academic achievement. Nationally, an average of 8 percent of teachers are considered inexperienced.

The study found 3 percent of teachers at Greenwich High were inexperienced, the same as at Westhill. Darien High had the highest amount of inexperienced teachers with 6 percent, and New Canaan had the lowest with 2 percent. At Stamford High and AITE, 4 percent of teachers were found to be inexperienced.

Last week, the district reported Greenwich High AP scores were at a 10-year-high.

Does your Greenwich student take an AP or advanced math class? Do you think the school should expand the offerings? What do you think the district can do to get more students enrolled in AP classes? Comment below or email ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com.

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