Advanced Placement (AP) Report Released by the College Board First-Ever "Report to the Nation" Focuses on Three Themes
Dover, Del. - January 25, 2005 Earlier today, the College Board released its first-ever "Report to the Nation" on Advanced Placement (AP) participation and performance data in our nation's public schools.
The College Board partners with colleges and universities to create AP exams of college-level learning-the AP exams-in 34 subject areas. Most colleges in the U.S. recognize AP exams in the admissions process as a sign of a student's ability to succeed in rigorous curricula. They also award college credit or placement into a higher level college course so that college entrants can move directly into the courses that match their level of academic preparation for college.
The composite score for each AP exam is converted to a grade of 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. Exam grades of 5 are equivalent to the top A-level work in the corresponding college course. AP grades of 4 are equivalent to a range of work representing midlevel A to midlevel B performance in college, while a grade 3 is equivalent to a range of work representing midlevel B to midlevel C performance in college. Most colleges and universities nationwide grant college credit or advanced placement for AP exam grades of 3 or higher.
Today's AP report focuses on three themes: Excellence and Equity in College-Level Achievement; AP and College Readiness; and Closing Equity Gaps.
Excellence and Equity in College-Level Achievement: The College Board report states that all 50 states have succeeded over the past five years in helping a greater percentage of their students demonstrate college-level mastery of an AP course during their high school years. In Delaware, 11.1% of high school students in the class of 2004 scored grade 3 or higher in AP coursework versus the class of 2000 (7.6%). This increase of 3.5% exceeds the national average of 3.0%.
AP and College Readiness: In the U.S., nearly 57% of all public high school students embarked on higher education coursework last year with 13% of students scoring a 3 or higher on AP classes. In Delaware, 58% took AP examinations with 11% scoring above grade 3.
Closing Equity Gaps: According to the College Board, much progress has also been made in the past five years in public schools to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population. The table below shows the percentage of minority students making up public school classrooms as well as the percentage of students taking AP classes.
Delaware's public school participation in Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities showed dramatic increases from 2003 to 2004. The number of public school students participating in AP examinations increased 16.1%, nearly double the U.S. growth rate, while the total number of examinations increased by 19%. Female students increased AP participation 14.4% compared to 2003, while the number of male students participating in AP courses rose by 18.3% which is also more than double the U.S. growth rate. Of the 3,624 AP exams given to Delaware public school students, 2,014 students received a score of 3 or higher, a significant increase of 18.2% over last year's results.
African-American student participation in AP was up +28.9% (2.5 times the U.S. growth rate). Grades in the 3 to 5 category were similarly up +25.8% (2.5 times the national average). In the past five years, Delaware minority public school students increased their numbers both in terms of participation as well as percentages of 3's, 4's and 5's scored.
While achieving a 3 or better on AP exams is the goal for students, a recent study indicates that students who score 1 and 2 on an AP exam are completing bachelor's degrees in much greater rates than students who did not take an AP exam. In fact, white students who scored 1 or 2 are completing college at nearly double the rate of students who did not participate in AP, while among Hispanic and African-American students, the rate of college graduation for students who score 1 or 2 on AP exams is triple that of students who did not take AP.
"Clearly, access to high quality curriculum and high expectations increase the likelihood of post-secondary success," said Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff.
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For further information on the College Board report and programs,
go to www.collegeboard.com.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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