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Florida Soars on Advanced Placement Performance

February 25, 2021

FDOE Press Office

Florida Soars on Advanced Placement Performance
~ Sunshine State jumps to second in the nation ~

Tallahassee, Fla., February 25, 2021 – Florida vaulted to #2 in the nation for successful Advanced Placement (AP) performance, with 34.2 percent of the graduating class of 2020 scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam while in high school, according to the 2020 AP Cohort Data Report from the College Board. Florida bettered the national average (24.4 percent) by nearly 10 percentage points, bypassed Massachusetts (34.0 percent) and is second only to Connecticut (34.5 percent). Additionally, Florida has eliminated the AP participation and performance gap for Hispanic students.

“Florida is known as the Education State and has long been a national model for providing students access to higher education and college credit-bearing opportunities – like AP – before graduating from high school,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These results show that our investments in education are paying off. More students than ever are successful on advanced coursework that prepares them for college or a career. Florida teachers are the best in the country and we have them to thank for our students’ impressive results. I look forward to working with the Legislature to continue record levels of funding to support our schools.”

“This is fantastic news! Our 2020 graduates’ outstanding performance on AP exams shows that Florida is well on the way to becoming the #1 state in the nation for education.” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “With college credits averaging over $210 per hour nationally, Florida’s success represents a potential cost savings of nearly $150,000,000. This is a huge savings for Florida families at a time when it’s most needed and is evidence that Florida’s graduates are of the highest quality. I am so proud of our students and teachers for their hard work, especially during the challenges of the last year. Even with this success, we must continue our focus on ensuring every child gets the highest quality education possible.”

Additional highlights of the 2020 AP Cohort Data Report include:

  • Florida is #1 state in the nation for having the highest AP exam participation rate.
  • Florida is the #2 state in the nation for improvement on AP exams with scores of 3 or higher over the last decade.
  • Florida is outpacing the nation for improvement in the percentage of AP exam scores of 3 or higher over the last decade, ranking third in the nation with a 12.6 percentage point increase.
  • The percentage of Florida graduates who took an AP exam during high school is 17.8 percent higher than the national average (56.1 percent vs. 38.3 percent).
  • Hispanic graduates represent the highest percentage of Florida’s successful scores, earning 41.6 percent of all scores of 3, 4 or 5.
  • Florida has eliminated the AP participation and performance gap for its Hispanic students. Hispanic students made up approximately 32 percent of the 2020 graduating class in Florida, yet they accounted for 37.5 percent of AP exam takers and 41.6 percent of the graduates scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school.
  • Over the last decade, Florida’s AP participation rate has improved by 14 percent, rising from 42.1 percent in 2010 to 56.1 percent in 2020.
  • Of the 90,609 Florida students in the class of 2020 who took an AP exam during high school, 55,346 earned a successful score of 3, 4 or 5.
  • According to the College Board, in 2020 Florida public and private high school students combined took a total of 230,431 AP exams that resulted in scores of 3, 4, or 5.
  • Based on students’ opportunity to earn at least three college credits for each AP exam score of 3 or higher, this represents an estimated 691,293 college credits.
  • At an average rate of $212.33 per credit hour, the total potential cost savings for Florida’s students and families was $146,782,243.

For more information, visit 2020 Advanced Placement Cohort Data Report.

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