Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

In Florida, more students taking -- and passing -- AP tests

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August

That's according to preliminary AP results released by the Florida Department of Education just a little bit ago. In 2009, for the fourth year in a row, Florida had the biggest one-year increase among all states in the number of students taking rigorous Advanced Placement exams, the DOE says. The Sunshine State also had the second biggest increase in the number of tests scored at 3 or higher on the AP's 1-5 scale.

The official report from the College Board, which administers the AP program, won't be released until February. The DOE report did not include a state-by-state breakdown or district-by-district information.

In raw numbers, 131,818 high school students took at least one AP exam in 2009, up from 117,698 in 2008, the DOE says. And 100,356 tests (many students take multiple tests) were scored at 3 or better -- a passage rate of 42.9 percent, up from 42 percent.

The rate peaked at 55.6 percent in 2000, when about 38,000 students took an AP test. Since 1999, the number of Florida students taking the exams -- considered a key predictor of success in college -- has nearly quadrupled, while the number of tests scored at 3 or higher has more than tripled.

Florida's success with AP isn't new news. But the continued push to get more students onto the AP track continues to generate heated debate.

Ron Matus, State Education Reporter

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:33am]

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