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February 09, 2006

Russell Schweiss
(850) 488-5394 or
Jennifer Fennell
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and Education Commissioner Winn Announce Increase in Advanced Placement Performance and Participation
Minorities continue to make record-breaking gains in performance and participation

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that Florida continues to make impressive gains in the number of students taking and successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Between 1999 and 2005, the number of Florida students taking AP exams increased by 125 percent.

"Thanks to our partnership with the College Board, more Florida students than ever before have access to higher education," said Governor Bush. "We’re seeing proof that Florida’s move toward more rigorous coursework is paying off. I salute our teachers who are encouraging the expansion of these programs into new schools, offering new academic opportunities to students who previously would not have the ability to get a jumpstart on their college careers."

The most significant increase in test-takers was again among Florida’s African American students, with an increase of more than 20 percent since 2004. Hispanic and Asian students also saw significant increases, with the number of students taking AP exams in both groups increasing more than 16 percent. Overall, there was a 15.3 percent increase in the number of AP test takers in Florida from 2004 to 2005.

"It’s exciting to see the large number of Florida students taking advantage of college level coursework while they are in high school," said Commissioner Winn. "These increases show that our students understand the importance of a challenging curriculum as they prepare for a postsecondary career."

Between 1999 and 2005, the number of Hispanic and African American students taking A P exams has risen by nearly 180-percent, with the number of Asian and white students taking the exams increasing by 120 percent. Florida is one of only three states to eliminate the equity gap in Hispanic student participation in AP courses.

Although Florida experienced significant growth in enrollment since 1999, the boom in AP participation far exceeds the increase in 11th and 12th grade enrollment. Overall, nearly 24 percent of Florida juniors and seniors participate in AP exams.

"Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature's strong commitment to increase access to Advanced Placement courses continues to pay off," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "Florida is among the top ten states in the country graduating its students with AP scores of 3 or more, and therefore more Florida students than ever before are being prepared to succeed in college."

AP exam scores in Florida have also been steadily on the rise. The number of Florida students scoring a 3 or better on AP exams increased by almost nine percent since 2004, with African American and Hispanic students scoring 3 or higher increasing by nearly 10 percent in the same time period. Nationally, the number of African American and Hispanic students scoring 3 or better increased by only 8.0 and 8.5 percent, respectively.

Additionally, the College Board recognized several Florida high schools for their exemplary Advanced Placement programs, including: Alex W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts, West Palm Beach; Barbara Goleman High School, Miami; Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Miami; Christopher Columbus High School, Miami; Coral Reef Senior High, Miami; Cypress Bay High School, Weston; Design & Architecture Senior High School, Miami; G. Holmes Braddock High School, Miami; Gulliver Preparatory School, Pinecrest; Miami Coral Park Senior High School, Miami; Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Pinecrest; Miami Sunset Senior High School, Miami; Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville and University School at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale.

For more information on Florida’s participation and performance on AP, please visit To learn more about Florida’s unique partnership with the College Board, log on to