As access to AP exams grows, more students are doing better

"In other words, educators have been eradicating both the written and unwritten rules that restricted college credit opportunities to artificial thresholds like the top 10 percent of a high school". MA finished first, with 31 percent of seniors earning a score of three or better, the threshold for many colleges to award credit.

The exam, administered by the College Board, is scored on a five-point scale.

The nonprofit College Board released the annual test results Wednesday.

California, where 28.5 percent passed. She said she is concerned about the impact of the loss of the federal subsidy on test-taking among low-income students: "Those exams are not affordable to low-income families".

The federal government had dedicated money to help low-income students defray the costs beginning in 1998. Under a new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal funding for test fees will be given to states to distribute. Federal aid for the scholarships ended with passage of the law, and the Maryland State Department of Education chose to keep funding them.

In fact, Packer said the accomplishment is "honorificabilitudinitatibus".

At Lynwood, where 96 percent of students come from low-income families, the number of AP test takers increased from 303 in 2010 to 779 in 2016.

Hill said the state's public colleges and universities "have drawn a very strong line in the sand", by recognizing weighted GPAs, where students can earn a GPA as high as 5.0, compared to the traditional 4.0, for earning high grades in AP courses. Malkus authored a report past year that used external data to examine the academic qualifications of AP students.

A separate report from the Florida Department of Education found the state closing the participation gap with AP exam takers. "And that has not hurt the (scores)", said David Coleman, president of the College Board. Colleges typically give credits to students who score well on AP exams.

Nearly half of all high school graduates in Maryland took an AP test past year.

Trevor Packer, the College Board vice president who runs the AP program, said in a conference with reporters that the average score on all AP exams has held fairly steady over time, and was actually higher in 2016 than in some years when far fewer students took the test.

"The latest data from the College Board indicates continued growth in the program and a high rate of success for Maryland students". Nationally, 30.1 percent of AP exam takers used an AP exam fee reduction.

Also, under the new education regulations, states will be allowed to set aside three percent of their Title I funds from fiscal year 2017 to provide grants to districts for "direct student services", which may encompass helping to fund AP exam fees and offering AP courses not now provided.

The number of students who sat for an exam has grown from 8,447 in 1990 to 17,095 a year ago.

The College Board, which runs the Advanced Placement program, with courses that grant college credit to high schoolers, used the timing of its release of 2016 AP results to encourage states to continue subsidizing access to AP exams for low-income students and to promote its newest AP course, AP Computer Science Principles. In addition, parents and college admissions officers have expressed growing concern that top students are taking too many AP classes as a way to increase their chances of admission to top colleges.

  • Larry Hoffman