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February 14, 2012 > College Board Announces AP(r) Results for California

College Board Announces AP(r) Results for California

Submitted By Deborah Davis

The 8th Annual AP(r) Report to the Nation, recently released by The College Board, finds that an increasing percentage of California's public high school graduates are succeeding on AP Exams, affirming the vision of educators that many more students deserve access to this type of course work. Nearly 40 percent of California's public school graduates in the class of 2011 taking AP Exams were from low-income households.

"This year's AP Report to the Nation highlights the tremendous progress and success of California's students and educators. It is not a coincidence that outstanding people putting in an outstanding effort yields outstanding results," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "And while there is still room to improve on access and preparation, I am confident that California's AP community will continue to grow and will continue to offer all students the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond."

The number of California's public high school graduates participating in AP has almost doubled in the last decade, and more than 90,000 graduates from the class of 2011 scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam during high school - almost double the number of successful students from the class of 2001.

The rigorous curricula used in AP courses encourage students to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue - all skills that prepare students for success in college and beyond. Research shows that students who score 3 or higher on AP Exams typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students.

"I'm both pleased and proud that California continues to lead the nation in not only the quality but the accessibility of our advanced courses, especially for historically underserved groups of students," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "This means great things for our students and their ability to succeed in both academics and careers."

California Highlights:
There has been a steady increase in the number of California's public school graduates benefiting from the AP experience:

35.4 percent (136,787) of graduates from California's public high school class of 2011 took at least one AP Exam during high school, compared to 28.6 percent (105,979) from the class of 2006 and 22.8 percent (71,836) from the class of 2001.

23.4 percent (90,409) of graduates from California's public high school class of 2011 scored 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam during high school, compared to 19.2 percent (71,007) from the class of 2006 and 15.9 percent (49,991) from the class of 2001.

More of California's traditionally underserved public high school graduates are participating and succeeding in AP. However, these students remain underrepresented not only in AP classrooms but also among Americans earning a college degree. Equitable preparation for AP and increased AP course-taking opportunities are vital efforts that must be made. Research consistently shows that minority and low-income students who earn a 3 or higher on an AP Exam are more likely than their peers to earn higher grades in college and to earn a college degree within five years.

The number of low-income graduates who took at least one AP Exam during high school increased from 29,006 in the class of 2006 to 52,700 in the class of 2011. The number of low-income students who scored 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam increased from 18,933 to 31,082 during that time.

The number of Hispanic/Latino graduates who took at least one AP Exam during high school increased from 31,345 in the class of 2006 to 48,462 in the class of 2011. The number of these students who scored 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam also increased from 22,132 to 29,373 during that time.

The number of black/African American graduates who took at least one AP Exam during high school increased from 3,696 in the class of 2006 to 4,892 in the class of 2011. The number of these students who scored 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam also increased from 1,181 to 1,888 during that time.

Despite these gains, however, Hispanic/Latino and black/African American graduates in California remain significantly underrepresented in AP classrooms.

The 10 most popular AP Exams taken by California's public high school graduates during high school, in descending order of popularity, were English Language and Composition, U.S. History, English Literature and Composition, U.S. Government and Politics, Calculus AB, Spanish Language, Biology, Statistics, European History and Psychology.

The 8th Annual AP Report to the Nation national report and the State Supplement for California are available at http://apreport.collegeboard.org.

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