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More Diverse Group Of US Students Succeeding On AP Exams, New Analysis Released

College Board Announces 2009 AP® Results: More Diverse Group of US
Students Succeeding on AP Exams, Predictors of Success in College
More Underserved Students Gaining Access, Though Equity Gaps Remain
NEW YORK — With almost 16 percent of the public high school class of 2009 achieving at least one
AP® Exam score of 3 or higher — the score that is predictive of college success — more students than ever
before are participating in rigorous course work and succeeding, Gaston Caperton, president of the College
Board, announced today. Additionally, this class stands out as having the most diverse student participation in
AP history.
In its sixth annual AP Report to the Nation, the College Board, the not-for-profit membership
association that owns and administers the AP Program, highlights the successes educators have achieved in
helping students from a wide variety of backgrounds gain access to and be successful in college-level AP
course work. As the report documents, of the estimated 3 million students who graduated from U.S. public
schools in 2009, more than 479,000 (15.9 percent) earned an AP Exam score of at least a 3 on one or more AP
Exams during their high school tenure. This is up from 15.2 percent in 2008 and 12.7 percent in 2004.
“This positive trend is encouraging, and I commend students and educators for their hard work and
success,” Caperton said. “Credit goes to educators at all levels and policymakers whose diligence has ensured
more students are able to take AP courses and do well on the exams.”
Out of all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Maryland led the nation for the second straight
year with the highest percentage (24.8) of public school students scoring at least a 3 on an AP Exam. Florida
attained the largest single-year increase in the percentage of high school graduates who scored a 3 or higher on
an AP Exam, while Virginia achieved the largest five-year gain.
The report also highlights the seven states with the highest five-year gains: Virginia, Maryland,
Georgia, Maine, Colorado, Vermont and Florida. (See “States with the Greatest Expansion of AP Scores of 3
or Higher Since 2004” on page 6 of the national report.) Additionally, Maryland, New York, Virginia,
Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, California and Colorado all saw more than 20 percent of their public
school students graduate from high school having earned an AP Exam score of 3 or higher. AP achievements
for each state’s class of 2009, class of 2008 and class of 2004 are detailed in the report. (See The 6th Annual
AP Report to the Nation, Table 1, page 5, and Appendix A.)
“It should be noted that initiatives that provide instruction as early as middle school are helping
students build skills and confidence,” Caperton said. “These initiatives are preparing students for strong
academic careers that culminate in college success and open doors to a lifetime of opportunity.”
The report notes that an equity and excellence gap appears when traditionally underserved students —
such as African American, Latino or American Indian students — constitute a smaller percentage of the group
of students experiencing success in AP than the percentage these students represent in the overall graduating
class. Although the gap has been closed in some places, inequity in preparation and access continues to exist in
many states across the country. This means that despite strides that have been made by educators to provide
traditionally underrepresented students with access to AP courses, more work remains.
“Through the dedication of educators and others across the country, we are making progress toward
the goal of having AP classes reflect the diversity of America’s students,” said Trevor Packer, vice president of
the AP Program at the College Board, “but the disparity still exists. We need to ensure that all students are
provided with the kind of academic experiences that can prepare them for the rigors of AP and college.”
Sixteen states have successfully closed the equity and excellence gap for Hispanic or Latino students,
and as of 2009, two states — Hawaii and Montana — have eliminated the gap for black or African American
students. While 18 states have closed the gap for American Indian or Alaska Native students, no state with a
substantial student population in this demographic has eliminated the gap.
Additionally, 15 schools lead the nation in the number of African American and/or Latino students
succeeding in particular AP subjects, and the report celebrates the example these schools are setting in
California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Texas. (See “Schools with the Largest Numbers
of African American and Latino Students Experiencing Success in AP,” page 12, and the corresponding Table
3, page 13, for details.)
The report also highlights that more low-income students are participating and experiencing success in
AP than ever before. In the 2009 graduating class, 18.9 percent of AP examinees were low-income students, up
from 17.0 percent in the class of 2008 and 13.7 percent in the class of 2004. Additionally, low-income students
made up 14.7 percent of the students experiencing success in AP from the graduating class of 2009, compared
to 13.4 percent from the class of 2008 and 11.7 percent from the class of 2004.
In addition to national initiatives such as the National Governors Association’s Advanced Placement
Expansion Project, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the National Math and Science
Initiative, the College Board has a College Readiness System™ that integrates programs, services and
professional development for educators. It is designed to help schools and districts create a culture focused on
student success; implement rigorous, high-quality curricula; effectively assess student learning to inform
instruction; and help teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student
Among these programs and services are SpringBoard®, an English language arts and mathematics
curriculum for grades six through 12; CollegeEd®, a college and career planning curriculum for students in
grades seven through 12; the PSAT/NMSQT®, a rigorous national assessment that measures skills that are
important for success in college; AP Potential™, a tool that identifies potential AP students; and the College
Board Standards for College Success™, freely available content standards for middle school and high school
English language arts, mathematics and statistics, and science that will prepare all students for AP or collegelevel
“For the well-being of our nation, we must do all we can to reach the nation’s long-term education
goals,” Caperton said. “This is the time to build on our momentum and renew our focus, reaching out to every
student along the way.”
About the Advanced Placement Program®
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables students to pursue college-level studies
while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam,
AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced
placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have
sought out the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and
approved by college faculty from some of the nation’s leading institutions, and AP Exams are developed and
scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. AP is accepted by more than 3,600 colleges and
universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam
scores. This includes over 90 percent of four-year institutions in the United States. In 2009, students
representing more than 17,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took AP Exams.
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college
success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools,
colleges, universities and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million
students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in
college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid and enrollment. Among its widely
recognized programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®),
SpringBoard® and ACCUPLACER®. The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and
equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities and concerns.
Jennifer Topiel The College Board 212-713-8052 communications@collegeboard.org

STORY TAGS: advanced placement, ap, scores, scoring, diversify, diverse results, students, student, background, black, african, american, latin, latino, latina, asian, test, results, scores, ethnic, foreign, american, minority news, education news, test news, black radio network, high school, education


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