Whittling away the achievement gap
The rate at which minority students in Florida have taken Advanced Placement tests has risen rapidly over the past several years. The numbers, however, remain low in comparison to the overall total of students taking the college-level courses and exams. (Hey, it's pretty easy to get high percentage increases when the base is small - just 8,700 Florida minority students took AP tests in 1999, compared to about 26,000 white kids.) To boost participation even higher, lawmakers want the Florida Partnership for Minority and Underrepresented Student Achievement do more to identify and help teens get into the AP program and succeed. The Senate unanimously approved the bill (SB 108) this morning, and the House is to take up the identical lanugage (HB 403) this afternoon. Once participation rises enough, maybe someone will do something about the the success rates the students find on the AP exams. (Want to see how Florida students did on AP exams most recently? Click here for a report from the College Board.)
UPDATE: The House approved the identical bill unanimously Monday afternoon.