Florida Remains on Top for Advanced Placement Participation and Performance


February 24, 2016

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Florida Remains on Top for Advanced Placement Participation and Performance
~ Second in the nation for graduates taking an AP exam; third for graduates earning scores that qualify for college credit ~

Tallahassee, Fla., February 24, 2016 – Florida continued its hold on second in the nation for the percentage of 2015 Florida high school graduates taking an Advanced Placement (AP) exam while in high school, according to the AP Cohort Data Report issued today by the College Board. In addition, the Sunshine State also maintained its third place ranking for the percentage of 2015 high school graduates potentially earning college credit by scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam.

“Once again, our state’s students are leading the nation, further demonstrating that Florida is a leader in providing high-quality education opportunities that prepare students for success in college, career and life,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Success in Advanced Placement coursework offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit, giving them an advantage once they enter college. I applaud our state’s students for their hard work and dedication, and I am grateful for their parents and educators who have supported and continue to support them.”

Florida highlights of the AP Cohort Data Report include:

  • At 57.7 percent, Florida maintained its rank as second in the nation for the percentage of 2015 graduates who took an AP exam during high school.
  • Over the last decade, the number of Florida graduates participating in AP more than doubled, increasing from 40,276 students in 2005 to 86,400 students in 2015, an increase of 115 percent.
  • The percentage of the 2015 class of Florida graduates (57.7 percent) who participated in AP exceeded the national average (37.3 percent).
  • Florida ranks third in the nation for the percentage of 2015 graduates who potentially earned college credit by scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams (30.7 percent).
  • The percentage of the 2015 class of Florida graduates who scored a 3 or higher on AP exams is higher in Florida (30.7%) than the national average (22.4%).
  • Florida is tied at second in the nation for improvement over the past 10 years in the percentage of graduates scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam during high school. Between 2005 and 2015, Florida improved by 13.4 percentage points, from 17.3 percent in 2005 to 30.7 percent in 2015.
  • Florida has eliminated the AP participation and success gap for its Hispanic/Latino students. Hispanic/Latino students made up 26.4 percent of the graduating class in Florida, yet they accounted for 28.8 percent of AP exam test takers and 32.3 percent of graduates scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school.
  • Florida has made progress in narrowing the participation and success gap for Black/African American students. In 2005, 10.1 percent of graduates leaving high school having taken an AP exam were Black/African American, compared to 14.0 percent in 2015.
  • Florida also increased AP exam participation among low-income graduates. In 2005, only 9.3 percent of graduates who had taken AP exams were low-income. By 2015, that percentage had risen to 37.8 percent.
  • Success among low-income graduates taking an AP exam also increased significantly, jumping from 9.5 percent in 2005 compared to 34.5 percent in 2015.

Three public school districts in Florida were recognized on the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll. The award is given to districts that increase access to AP courses for more students while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

The districts recognized are:

  • Indian River County Public Schools
  • Lee County Public Schools
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools (also a 2012, 2013 and 2014 AP Honor Roll District)

Five public school districts in Florida were recognized on the Inaugural AP Opportunity Honor Roll. The award is given to districts that increased the number of underrepresented students who took the SAT, received a 1550 or higher on the SAT, took an AP course and exam, scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam, and sent their SAT scores to at least four colleges.

The districts recognized are:

  • Flagler County Public Schools
  • Highlands County Public Schools
  • Sumter County Public Schools
  • Taylor County Public Schools
  • Walton County Public Schools

For more information, visit AP Cohort Data Report (PDF).

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