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PRESS RELEASE

August 28, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

More Florida Students Take SAT and AP Exams than Ever Before

~SAT and AP participation in Florida continues to rise and surpass national averages~

TALLAHASSEE – According to a national release of SAT results, 97,366 of Florida’s 2007 high school graduates took the SAT – the largest number of Florida students to ever take the test. This number equates to an increase of 3 percent (2,765 graduates) over the previous year, which surpasses the national increase of 2 percent. In addition, the number of Florida test takers as a percentage of high school graduates was up slightly – from 63 percent to 63.6 percent – whereas the national percentage dipped slightly (down to 48.1 percent from 48.2 percent in 2006). The College Board also released Advanced Placement (AP) results, and for the second year in a row, Florida had the greatest one-year increase in the number of public school AP exam-takers when compared to all other states from 2006 to 2007.

“Florida’s SAT and AP results send a clear message that more and more students are recognizing the value of higher education and the role it can play in creating a lifetime of success,” said Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg. “I am proud of the level of interest our students have shown in taking college entrance exams and higher level coursework. Only through a more educated and prepared workforce will Florida be equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Florida continues to see steady increases in the percentage of minority students taking the SAT. Overall, minority student participation has increased to 46 percent, up from 44 percent in 2006. Nationwide, minority students represented 39 percent of the test taking population. In Florida, African-American students comprise 14 percent of the test takers, compared to 12 percent nationwide. Hispanic students in Florida comprise 23 percent of the test-takers, compared to 12 percent nationwide.

Even with increased student participation, Florida’s average combined reading and math SAT score remained the same as last year (993). Scores were up one point on the reading portion and down one point on the math and writing portions. At the same time, the total score of the nation went down four points – one point on the reading portion and three points on the math and writing portions. While Florida’s overall score was the same as last year, the scores of minority students climbed. In comparison to last year, Florida African-American students increased their scores by six points and Hispanic students by one point. Nationally, the scores for African-American and Hispanic students dropped – one and two points respectively.

Students in the Sunshine State continue to excel in AP participation and performance. From 2006 to 2007, the number of Florida AP exam takers increased by 14 percent (from 90,677 to 103,547 exam takers) compared to approximately 10 percent for the nation. Increases in Florida AP exam takers were highest among minority students. Overall, the number of minority students taking AP exams in Florida increased by 18 percent. According to the College Board, Florida had the greatest one-year increase in the number of African-American public school AP exam takers when compared to all other states and the second greatest increase in the number of Hispanic exam takers. The number of Florida African-American AP exam takers increased 29 percent and the number of Hispanic exam takers by 12 percent.

Florida also had the second greatest increase in the number of students passing (receiving grades of 3-5) AP exams when compared to all other states from 2006 to 2007. The number of exams awarded a passing score (3-5) increased by 13 percent in Florida compared to 9 percent for the nation.

Additionally, the number of Florida public school tenth graders taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which is offered free-of-charge to all Florida tenth graders, increased slightly from 2005 to 2006 – up from 67 percent to 67.6 percent. Again, Florida saw increases in the percentage of African-American and Hispanic tenth-grade students taking the PSAT/NMSQT.

The SAT is a voluntary college entrance exam. SAT scores can be used for admission to a state university, Talented 20 program, meeting qualifications for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program or placement into regular college courses. Students may access information about the SAT and other college entrance exams through Florida's online student advising system, the Florida Academic Counseling and Tracking for Students at www.FACTS.org.

For more details on Florida's performance on the SAT and AP, visit www.fldoe.org/evaluation/. To learn more about Florida's unique partnership with the College Board, log on to www.collegeboard.com/floridapartnership.