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Press Release

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Ranks Second in the Nation for Advanced Placement Participation

~ Record number of Hispanic and low-income high school graduates eligible for college credit ~

Tallahassee, Fla., February 11, 2014 - Florida earned high marks for the percentage of graduates from the class of 2013 who took an Advanced Placement (AP) exam while in high school, earning them a second place national ranking according to a new report issued today.

The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation noted that 53.1 percent of Florida graduates participated in rigorous AP courses during their high school career. In addition, Florida placed fifth for the percentage of 2013 graduates who succeeded on AP exams, with 27.3 percent of 2013 graduates eligible for college credit based on their exam score of 3 or higher. Moreover, during the past decade, the number of low-income students taking AP has increased more than tenfold, and Florida remains the only state in the nation with a large population of Hispanic graduates that has closed the equity gap in AP participation and success.

"Florida is a national leader in providing students access to college-level coursework while they are in high school," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "For many years, our students have benefitted from thoughtful state leadership and foresight so they can experience the rigor of a postsecondary education and earn college credit before they graduate. I am especially pleased that more Hispanic and low-income graduates than ever before are prepared for success in college, career and in life."

Over the past decade, the number and percent of Florida graduates participating in AP courses and taking at least one AP exam while in high school more than doubled. More low-income graduates than ever participated and succeeded in both AP courses and exams. Hispanic students also made noteworthy gains in both AP participation and performance.

10th Annual AP Report to the Nation
Number and Percent of Graduating Seniors From the Classes of 2003, 2012 and 2013
Participating and Succeeding in Advanced Placement

  Participation 2003 Number Participation 2003 Percent Participation 2012 Number Participation 2012 Percent Participation 2013 Number Participation 2013 Percent Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2003 Number Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2003 Percent Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2012 Number Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2012 Percent Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2013 Number Scores 3+ = Eligible for College Credit 2013 Percent
Florida overall 32,566 25.50% 76,128 51% 80,175 53.10% 19,452 15.30% 39,306 26.30% 41,149 27.30%
White 18,620 57.20% 36,200 47.60% 37,030 46.20% 11,213 57.60% 20,456 52% 20,792 50.50%
Black 3,173 9.70% 11,246 14.80% 11,743 14.60% 1,107 5.70% 2,907 7.40% 3,000 7.30%
Hispanic 7,252 22.30% 19,791 26% 22,368 27.90% 5,059 26% 11,412 29% 12.773 31%
Low Income 2,439 7.50% 23,882 31.40% 28,216 35.20% 1,403 7.20% 10,897 27.70% 12,774 31%

Other highlights of the 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation are below.

  • Florida has made steady progress on student participation in AP since 2003. The number of graduates leaving high school having taken at least one AP exam during the past decade increased a dramatic 146 percent!
  • Florida has eliminated the AP participation and success gap for its Hispanic students. While Hispanic students made up 25.1 percent of the 2013 graduating class, they accounted for 27.9 percent of AP exam takers and 31 percent of AP exam takers earning a score of 3 or higher.
  • Florida has made progress in narrowing the participation and success gap for African American students. The percent of graduates who took an AP exam and were African American moved from 9.7 percent in 2003 to 14.6 percent in 2013. Additionally, the percentage of graduates scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam who were African American increased from 5.7 percent in 2003 to 7.3 percent in 2013.

    Florida has also made progress in increasing the participation and achievement of low income students. The percent of graduates who took an AP exam and were low-income reached a high of 35.2 percent of graduates. This is a jump of more than 1,000 percent since 2003 and a 3.8 percentage point increase from 2012.
  • The percentage of graduates succeeding on AP exams who were low-income also reached new levels, with 31 percent of students earning a score of 3 or higher. This is an increase of 810 percent since 2003 and a 3.3 percentage point increase over last year.
  • Two Florida school districts - Manatee and Miami-Dade - were named AP Districts of the Year for increasing access to AP courses while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning a score of 3 or higher on AP exams.

To view the 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, visit College Board.