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PRESS RELEASE

January 25, 2005

Jacob DiPietre
(850) 488-5394

MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Florida Shows Largest Increase in Student Mastery of Advanced Placement Courses
Governor Bush heralds College Board study showing Florida's great advances in AP

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John Winn today touted the College Board's Advanced Placement Report to the Nation 2005. The report, released today, shows Florida making the most progress of any state in students excelling on high school Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The study also showed among the class of 2004, nearly one in five Florida public high school students proved mastery of a college-level AP exam, by scoring a Level 3 or higher. Successfully completing AP coursework is an excellent predictor of bachelor's degree completion.

"Florida has developed a strong and unique partnership with the College Board that has expanded college preparatory course work to more minorities and under represented youth," Governor Bush said. "By providing greater access and opportunities to all students, Florida is seeing dramatic progress and more students are gaining a successful AP experience. This unique partnership is a commitment to ensure more students are prepared for college success."

Additionally, the Advanced Placement Report to the Nation 2005 pointed out:

  • Florida achieved the largest increase of any state in the nation in students succeeding on AP exams, catapulting Florida to fourth in the nation overall. Nineteen percent of Florida's public high school class last year scored Level 3 or higher, compared to 13 percent in 2000.
  • Of the 115 classrooms considered worldwide leaders in AP exam preparation and participation 30 are from Florida, 23 of which are public school classes.
  • Florida has made tremendous progress ensuring minorities enroll in AP courses. As a result, Hispanic and Native American students have a strong presence in Florida's AP classrooms.

The Advanced Placement Program allows students to pursue college-level studies while they are still in high school. Exams yield grades from 1 to 5. Many colleges and universities grant credit, advanced placement, or both, to students for AP exam grades of 3 or higher.

"When Governor Bush signed the Florida Partnership for Minority and Underrepresented Student Achievement Act, he made a commitment to closing Florida's achievement gap and presenting new opportunities to all students," Education Commissioner Winn said. "Today's AP results show that this commitment is paying off, and more students, especially minorities, are college ready."

In August, Governor Bush and Commissioner Winn announced Florida's students continue to excel in participation and performance on AP exams. AP participation and performance rose most dramatically among minority students. Nearly 22 percent of AP test takers in Florida were Hispanic, compared to less than 13 percent of national AP test takers. Over the last year alone, the percent of African American students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams in Florida increased 13.5 percent, compared to 10.5 percent nationally.

"Under the educational leadership of Florida's Governor Jeb Bush, student achievement in Advanced Placement presents a national model," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "AP data reflects Florida's commitment to promoting academic excellence for all students, in providing professional development for teachers, and for heralding the cause of access to AP for minority and underrepresented students."

Last year, the Governor signed the Florida Partnership for Minority and Underrepresented Student Achievement Act, authorizing the Department of Education to contract with the College Board to prepare students for post-secondary success and opportunity, with a particular focus on minority students and students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education. This Act codified the partnership Governor Bush established with the College Board and will strengthen outreach to students. It requires public high schools to provide the PSAT or PLAN to all enrolled 10th grade students, and to use the test results to identify students ready to enroll in advanced courses, as well as those needing additional assistance.

For more information on the College Board report please visit http://www.collegeboard.com/press/article/0,,41022,00.html, or for more information on Florida success in education please visit, www.myflorida.com.

The following Florida schools are international leaders in AP exam participation and performance:

Small-size schools (500 students or less in grades 9-12):
AP English Language: International Baccalaureate School, Bartow
AP English Literature: School for Advanced Studies-Wolfson, Miami
AP Studio Art: Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami
AP World History: International Baccalaureate School, Bartow

Medium-size schools (500-999 students in grades 9-12 ):
AP Calculus AB: Ransom Everglades School, Coconut Grove
AP French Literature: Gulliver Preparatory School, Pinecrest
AP Psychology: Gulliver Preparatory School, Pinecrest

Large-size schools (1000 + students in grades 9-12):
AP English Literature: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville
AP European History: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville
AP Comparative Government and Politics: Suncoast Community High School, Riviera Beach
AP Studio Art: Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School, West Palm Beach

The following Florida schools have the largest number of African-American students scoring 3+ in the AP courses specified below:

AP English Language: Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami
AP European History: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville
AP Psychology: Stranahan High School, Fort Lauderdale
AP Studio Art: Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami

The following Florida schools have the largest number of Hispanic students scoring 3+ in the AP courses specified below:

AP Art History: Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Miami
AP Biology: Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Miami
AP Calculus AB: G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School, Miami
AP Chemistry: Miami Coral Park Senior High School
AP English Language: Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami
AP English Literature: Felix Varela Senior High School, Miami
AP European History: Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami
AP United States Government and Politics: Miami Palmetto Senior High School
AP Human Geography: Felix Varela Senior High School, Miami
AP Macroeconomics: St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale
AP Microeconomics: Christopher Columbus High School, Miami
AP Psychology: Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, Miami
AP Studio Art: Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami
AP United States History: Miami Coral Park Senior High School, Miami
AP World History: Barbara Goleman Senior High School, Miami