The Sunshine State is ranked number one in the nation, topping Maryland for the percentage of 2010 seniors taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams while in high school according to the 7th Annual AP Report to the Nation by The College Board. The first-place ranking with 43.5 percent of seniors (65,741) taking at least one AP exam during their high school career bettered the national average of 28.3 percent. In addition, 22.3 percent of Florida seniors (33,712) passed an AP exam with a score of three or higher, tying the state at sixth in the country and exceeding the national average of 16.9 percent. The rankings are fueled by solid gains in participation and performance of Florida’s African-American and Hispanic students.
“This latest AP report offers tremendous news for our children as we continue to ramp up our efforts to prepare them for the rigors of a postsecondary education,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “We have hit new highs in the percent of our students taking and succeeding in this critical coursework and our teachers and school leaders should be proud of what they have been able to accomplish.”
Over the last five years, the percentage of Florida students receiving a score of 3 or higher on an AP exam has grown five percent, placing Florida second in the nation for the largest five-year increase. Additionally, Florida is third in the nation for the total number of AP exams taken by students at 231,632.
Florida’s AP progress continues to be largely driven by minority students. Mirroring trends seen last year, African-American and Hispanic 2010 graduating seniors experienced increases in both the percent taking and the percent passing AP exams. Florida also continues to be one of only a few states in the country that has eliminated the AP achievement gap for Hispanic 2010 graduating seniors.
The report also highlights five Florida high schools for their exemplary programs to increase access to AP among traditionally underserved students. No other state has as many recognized schools and Florida’s total is more than double the number in most other states. The highlighted schools are:
· Barbara Goleman Senior High – Miami
· Coral Reef Senior High – Miami
· Cypress Bay High – Weston
· Design and Architecture Senior High – Miami
· Miami Killian Senior High – Miami
For more information on the 7th AP Report to the Nation, visit The College Board.