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Researchers at the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence, a University of California San Diego research group that founded the Preuss School, have released a study of the charter school’s achievement on Advanced Placement tests.

The issue was spotlighted earlier this year by the Union-Tribune, which observed that the school’s AP exam passage rate was lower than that of San Diego Unified. Preuss was under heavy scrutiny this year after a university-led audit uncovered significant grade-changing at the school.

Scholars such as UCSD economist Julian Betts countered that because the school requires “virtually all” students to take AP classes and their accompanying exams, comparing overall passage rates is unfair.

Instead, the group compared the number of AP exams passed to the overall population of the school. Using that standard, Preuss ranks higher than any other San Diego public or charter school.

The report also argues that even if students don’t score a three or higher on the AP exam, exposure to college-level classes is valuable for Preuss students, who come from low-income, less-educated families.

voiceofsandiego.org contributor Vladimir Kogan also took on the issue in a column earlier this year.

EMILY ALPERT

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