Mike Morgan received a welcome surprise from his class of last year.
The Lathrop High teacher was in his first year of Advanced Placement World History – AP is a national / international program in which high school students are offered up college-level curricula and examinations – but recently received the results.
Of those 33 sophomores, 30 of them earned a score of “3” or better in AP World History. AP tests are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 as being a qualified grade (4 is well qualified, 5 is extremely qualified).
“With a 3 or better, an AP student can receive college credits or have the option to waive a certain class (in that subject area), depending on the school,” Principal Greg Leland said on Friday.
Overall, Leland, who is in his first year as the top administrator at Lathrop High, was proud with the overall high marks from last year’s AP tests by LHS students.
“They’re committed to doing the extra work necessary,” he said. “Their goal is to go to college.”
For starters, English Literature, under the direction of teacher Bernadette Ogbeide, had 10 of the 14 students receiving 3s or better.
Ditto that for Gloria Martinez’s Spanish Language class, where 17 of 19 students earned the qualified 3 grades or higher.
In European History under Mike Pangburn, 23 of his 29 students received the qualifying marks or better while 18 of 26 students in Morgan’s U.S. History came away with 3s or better.
“The national average is 50 percent (of 3s or better),” said Morgan.
He had students routinely go to study hall and meticulously graded their work.
“I would note what’s missing, point out errors, and also make suggestions,” Morgan said.
More importantly, his students focused on their writing. Come testing time, the ones in his AP World History had developed college-level writing skills.
Morgan, who is currently teaching AP Psychology, gives most of the credit to his students.
“Coming in, they already had good work ethics,” he said.
Added Leland: “Our (AP) students had the foundation to succeed – Success breeds success.”