URBANA — Urbana High School has been recognized by Advanced Placement on its district honor roll for the third time, but it's not because anyone at the high school talked the testing program into it.
"This comes out of sheer achievement," said high school Principal Matthew Stark. The school can't apply, or try to persuade Advanced Placement to give it the award.
Instead, it's a reflection that a diverse group of 200 students took an Advanced Placement test last year. Almost 90 percent of them scored a 3, 4 or 5, which are scores for which most colleges will give students credit and higher placement in classes.
Advanced Placement has been giving the award a total of four years.
It also puts Urbana in the same category as only 477 other schools in the country.
Simple math shows what an honor the award is, Stark said.
Schools that made the honor roll are "simultaneously expanding opportunity and improving performance," according to a news release from the Urbana school district.
To decide which districts receive the award, Advanced Placement looks at information from all students who took its tests in May 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to the release. It also looks at how much districts have increased participation in and access to Advanced Placement classes, and must see students' performance maintained or improved when comparing 2013 exams to 2011 exams.