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College Admission, AP Enrollment Soar

With soaring numbers of local students enrolling in rigorous Advanced Placement courses, and more high school graduates here earning admission to Cal State Long Beach, the national College Board honored Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser last week with its highest honor. The College Board awarded Steinhauser the Joe Allen Exemplar Award on Feb. 26 at its annual Western Regional Meeting in Newport Beach. The number of LBUSD students earning admission to Cal State Long Beach has increased 46 percent over the past five years, according to newly released numbers. And the latest numbers on Advanced Placement enrollment here show a 65 percent increase since 2003, with African American students’ participation increasing by 85 percent, and Latino students’ participation increasing by 90 percent. Latino students have now emerged as the ethnic group taking the most AP courses here, finally surpassing the AP enrollment of white students. More than 50 percent of all students here are Latino. “These achievements reflect the hard work of our employees, parents and community partners,” Steinhauser said. “The credit goes to them for staying focused on high achievement for all students, despite tough challenges.” The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT and Advanced Placement. Under Steinhauser’s leadership during the past five years, LBUSD has reached out to hundreds of students who may not have initially considered themselves to be college material. The school district became one of the first to administer the PSAT to every 10th grader, testing their college potential and then placing them in summer workshops and specialized courses that strengthen reading, writing and study skills. This extra support builds students’ tenacity, helping them to believe in themselves and not be discouraged by difficult work. The Joe Allen Exemplar Award acknowledges outstanding professional achievement, specifically significant contributions on behalf of students, over an extended period of time. The award also recognizes contributions in support of professional colleagues. LBUSD each year provides extensive professional development, or training, for Advanced Placement teachers. Joe Allen served as one of the deans of the College Board’s Summer Institute for many years and was a champion of under-represented students. In 2007, the number of LBUSD students earning admission to Cal State Long Beach was 1,095, up from 750 in 2003. Among the most dramatic increases in admissions to Cal State Long Beach: • Between 2006 and 2007 alone, the number of Cabrillo High School students gaining admission to Cal State Long Beach increased by 27 percent. Since 2003, Cabrillo student admissions have increased by 195 percent. • Jordan High School admissions rose by 12 percent from 2006 to 2007. Since 2003, Jordan student admissions have increased by 78 percent. This school year, 4,281 students are enrolled in AP courses in the school district. That’s up from 2,589 in 2003. The number of African American students here enrolled in AP courses has jumped from 224 to 415 since 2003. The number of Latino students enrolled in AP courses here has increased from 760 to 1,445 since 2003. Latino enrollment in AP courses here now surpasses white enrollment, which is 1,320.