Earning a “3” or Higher on An AP Exam Over Five Year Period
--Five year gain exceeds five percent--
(Dover, DE.) Earlier today, the College Board released its fourth annual “Report to the Nation” on Advanced Placement (AP) participation and performance data for all public high schools across the U.S. The report shows that in a five year period, from 2002-2007, the number of Delaware students who received a grade of “3 or higher on AP exams significantly increased from 9.3% to 14.5%, a gain of 5.2%. This gain surpassed the national average of 3.5% for the same time period. Only Maryland, Maine, Colorado and New Hampshire had a higher percentage gain. Since 2002, Delaware has seen a constant, steady upward trend of students taking at least one AP exam during high school. In 2002, 1,017 students of all ethnicities took at least one AP exam. Just five years later, in 2007, that number has escalated to 1,843, an 81.2% increase. In 2007, 27.4% of the public high school class took at least one AP exam during high school. This compares to 24.9% for the nation. Also, 18.6% of the class of 2007 took one or more science AP exams, which also surpassed the national average of 15%. Science exams consist of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, and Physics C: Mechanics. Other AP exams include mathematics, language, English and art. “Once again, the College Board’s ‘Report to the Nation’ shows that more and more of Delaware’s high school students are not only participating in Advanced Placement coursework but they are achieving high scores as well,” said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. “Scores of ‘3’ or higher can then be applied towards college credit at many colleges and universities across the country, significantly cutting down on family and student costs. I offer my sincere congratulations to our outstanding students and wish them success in their continued academic journey.” The number of public high schools in Delaware offering AP courses has risen slightly since 2002; the number of AP courses offered in those high schools has continued to rise; the number of students taking at least one AP course has nearly doubled. See table below:
|Advanced Placement Data|
|Number of HS Offering AP Courses||25||28|
|Number of AP Courses Offered||187||293|
|Number of Students Taking At Least One Course||2114||3949|
|Total Enrollment Grades 9-12||28640||31972|
|AP Participation Rate*||7.0||12.4|
|*The AP Participation Rate is the number of AP students per 100 students in grades 9-12 in high schools offering AP courses.|
The College Board partners with colleges and universities to create AP exams of college-level learning in 37 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 higher education 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 “Report to the Nation” also provided an in-depth analysis of closing “equity and excellence gaps.” This gap appears whenever the percentage of underserved students achieving access to and success on AP exams is less than the percentage of underserved students in the entire class of 2007. For example, if 20% of students in the entire class are African Americans, true equity and excellence would not be achieved until 20% of the students taking AP exams, and scoring 3 or better, are African Americans, as well.
For Delaware in 2007, the Hispanic or Latino student population was at 5.6% while the percentage of the same students who scored a 3 or higher on AP exams was at 5.8%, thereby eliminating the equity and excellence gap. Although 6% of the Black or African American student population in Delaware scored a 3 or higher on AP exams and exceeded the national average of 3.3%, an equity and excellence gap remains because the Delaware Black or African American population is 26.2%.
“While the elimination of the achievement gap for Hispanic students is very exciting, current initiatives such as the Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) Grant are in place to decrease the gap for all student populations,” said Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff. “Greater attention is required if we are to eliminate the Black or African American gap.” Added Woodruff, “In all, this report validates the hard work of students and educators toward student achievement and success.”
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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