Advanced Placement Courses and American Indian Performance

This article’s authors analyzed enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and performance on AP examinations for American Indian (AI) students in the United States in 2007. AP examination scores, overall and for five AP courses, of AI students are compared to the AP examination scores of white students. In every case, AI students have AP examination scores that are significantly and practically lower than the scores of white students. AI female students have AP examination scores that are lower than the AP examination scores of white female students, and similar results are found for male students. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Content Comments 

This substantive article addresses an important research topic, American Indian (AI) achievement on Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. The research questions are clearly stated and answered; the methodology is sound; and the findings are plausible and valuable. The article’s communications quality is high; however, readers may find the amount of data presented challenging. Specific findings may be interesting and useful to readers; for example, the under-performance on AP examinations by female AI students compared to male AI students. The authors consider explanations for the substantial gaps between the performance of AI students and white students, and between male and female AI students. Nevertheless, this study highlights a critical gap in the research literature and the need to address this gap. Evidence of effectiveness on learning is not addressed; however, the study’s overall quality suggests a positive impact on learning.