College Board has released its National AP Report today, showing that minorities are stills struggling with Advanced Placement (AP) exams in public schools, according to the Huffington Post.
Unlike SAT scores, which allow students to gain acceptance to universities, high AP scores can provide students college credit before they even graduate from high school. According to the College Board report, the number of minorities who actually take AP exams has tripled since 2001. However, only 14 percent of Hispanic and Latino students, and four percent of African American students in 2010’s graduating class, got passing grades on such tests.
“ I wish we could fix this overnight, but it doesn’t fix overnight,” Marica Cullen of the Illinois State Board of Education told the Chicago Tribune. “When you bring in more test-takers, you get more students who are edging over and challenging themselves for the first time. It’s a long process ... to set the bar higher and help kids achieve.”
In general, according to the College Board report, the number of high school students taking college-level courses is growing nationwide. About 508,818 students took 2.5 million AP tests last academic year. According to the Washington Post, Maryland ranked No. 1 in the nation for the third year in a row in high school graduates who passed AP exams.
Overall, College Board has been revamping AP exams to reflect students’ analytical skills more than their knowledge of individual facts. If you want to see more trends from the national report, look at this excellent interactive graph explaining the results on Collegeboard.com.
By Alina Dain