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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today he is encouraged by the growing percentage of California high school graduates both taking and passing end-of-course Advanced Placement® (AP) exams that give high-school students a taste of college-level work.
“More of our high school students are challenging themselves by enrolling in college-level courses, and more of them meeting that challenge by passing these Advanced Placement exams, ”Torlakson said. “These results reflect the high value California students and families place on being ready for college—and the increasing success our students and schools are having in achieving that goal.”
The 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation by the College Board showed that 37.4 percent of graduates from California’s public high school class of 2012 took an AP exam during high school, up from 29.3 percent in 2007 and 24.1 percent in 2002.
And nearly a quarter (24.7 percent) of California’s graduates posted an AP exam passing score of 3 or higher. Among states, the report ranks California 8th in the nation in the percentage of its graduates scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam.
The report also shows growing AP participation among diverse student groups in California. The percentage of Hispanic/Latino AP exam takers in the 2012 graduating class was 36.8, compared to 30.1 in 2007, and 27.5 in 2002. The percentage of AP exam takers in the 2012 graduating class who were African American was 3.8, compared to 3.6 in 2007, and 1.6 percent in 2002.
Research has shown that students who enroll in AP courses and take the end-of-course exam are better prepared for college and are more likely to graduate from college in the traditional four years.
Each year, the College Board recognizes school districts that increase access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on AP Exams with its AP Districts of the Year Honor Roll.
A total of 539 districts across the United States and Canada were named to the most recent honor roll, including 22 school districts from California:
Center Unified, Fontana Unified, Fremont Unified, Inglewood Unified, Long Beach Unified, Los Alamitos Unified, Manteca Unified, Milpitas Unified, Natomas Unified, Palo Alto Unified, Pittsburg Unified, Pleasanton Unified, Poway Unified, Redondo Beach Unified, Rialto Unified, San Ramon Valley Unified, Shasta Union High, Stockton Unified, Tustin Unified, Victor Valley Union High, Windsor Unified, and the Diocese of San Jose.