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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education


Share of Public High School Students Scoring 3 or Higher on at Least One Advanced Placement Exam


Quartiles

Share of public high school students scoring 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement Exam: 2008 (Percent)
 
1st quartile
(23.4% – 17.3%)
2nd quartile
(16.6% – 13.0%)
3rd quartile
(11.9% – 8.6%)
4th quartile
(8.3% – 3.7%)
 
California Alaska‡ Arkansas‡ Alabama‡
Colorado Delaware‡ Idaho‡ Arizona
Connecticut Georgia Indiana District of Columbia
Florida Illinois Kansas‡ Hawaii‡
Maine‡ Michigan Kentucky‡ Iowa
Maryland Minnesota Montana‡ Louisiana‡
Massachusetts Nevada‡ New Mexico‡ Mississippi‡
New Jersey New Hampshire‡ Ohio Missouri
New York Oregon Oklahoma‡ Nebraska‡
North Carolina South Carolina‡ Pennsylvania North Dakota‡
Utah Texas Rhode Island‡ West Virginia‡
Vermont‡ Washington South Dakota‡ Wyoming‡
Virginia Wisconsin Tennessee
 
‡ EPSCoR state

SOURCE: College Board, Advanced Placement Report to the Nation. See Data Table.



Findings

  • Nationally, 15.2% of public school students in the class of 2008 demonstrated the ability to do college-level work by obtaining a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam, a substantial increase over the 10.2% achieved by the class of 2000.
  • Students from all states demonstrated greater success on AP Exams in 2008 than in 2000, but this success was not evenly distributed. In 2008, 20 states and the District of Columbia had percentages below the 2000 national average of 10.2% compared with 38 jurisdictions in 2000.
  • The percentage of students who are successful on AP Exams varies widely among states. For the class of 2008, this percentage ranged from a high of 23.4% to a low of 3.7% across states. Some of this variation occurs because opportunities for advanced work are more readily available to students in certain states.
  • Values of this indicator were higher for all jurisdictions in 2008 than in 2000. Although two of the three states with the largest increase in performance for the class of 2008 were EPSCoR states, most of the EPSCoR states ranked in the lower quartiles.


Description

This indicator provides a measure of the extent to which high school students are successfully demonstrating mastery of college-level material. It is defined as the percentage of U.S. public high school graduates who have scored 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Many colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for AP Exam grades of 3 or higher. A high value on this indicator shows the extent to which students have been offered access to rigorous coursework and successfully mastered its requirements.

A total of 37 different AP Exams are offered each spring by the College Board. The exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 representing work equivalent to college-level performance ranging from midlevel B to midlevel C. To prepare for the AP Exam in a subject area, most students enroll in an AP class that employs a curriculum of high academic intensity. Performance on AP Exams is considered one of the best predictors of success in college by many colleges and universities.

Data Table

Table 8-13
Share of public high school students scoring 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement Exam, by state: 2000, 2004, and 2008
(Percent)
 
State 2000 2004 2008
 
United States 10.2 13.2 15.2
Alabama 3.9 5.0 6.8
Alaska 10.1 10.8 13.3
Arizona 7.2 8.0 7.9
Arkansas 4.3 6.1 10.6
California 15.0 18.7 20.2
Colorado 12.2 16.2 19.0
Connecticut 13.6 17.6 21.0
Delaware 7.6 11.1 13.8
District of Columbia 6.6 8.2 6.9
Florida 13.5 19.2 18.2
Georgia 9.7 12.0 16.3
Hawaii 5.8 7.7 8.0
Idaho 6.5 8.1 9.5
Illinois 9.9 13.3 15.2
Indiana 6.0 7.7 10.0
Iowa 4.9 6.6 8.3
Kansas 4.4 6.3 8.6
Kentucky 5.5 7.7 10.0
Louisiana 1.9 2.5 3.7
Maine 10.1 12.8 19.3
Maryland 14.1 19.4 23.4
Massachusetts 14.5 18.1 20.8
Michigan 8.8 10.9 13.0
Minnesota 8.1 10.6 14.2
Mississippi 2.3 2.9 3.9
Missouri 3.7 5.3 6.5
Montana 6.8 8.8 10.6
Nebraska 3.2 4.0 6.5
Nevada 9.1 12.4 13.5
New Hampshire 9.2 10.9 15.5
New Jersey 12.9 15.5 17.3
New Mexico 6.1 8.1 9.9
New York 17.9 21.2 23.3
North Carolina 11.3 15.8 17.3
North Dakota 4.4 5.7 6.9
Ohio 7.1 9.4 10.8
Oklahoma 5.4 8.3 9.8
Oregon 7.1 8.8 13.1
Pennsylvania 8.3 10.1 11.9
Rhode Island 6.9 7.8 9.5
South Carolina 10.0 11.2 13.8
South Dakota 5.9 8.3 9.7
Tennessee 6.2 7.9 9.2
Texas 9.9 13.1 14.5
Utah 17.4 19.3 18.9
Vermont 11.5 14.0 19.8
Virginia 15.9 17.7 21.3
Washington 7.6 11.6 15.5
West Virginia 4.6 6.4 6.9
Wisconsin 10.5 13.7 16.6
Wyoming 3.8 6.7 7.5
       
Puerto Rico NA NA NA
 

NA = not available

NOTE: National average for United States is reported value in Advanced Placement Report to the Nation.

SOURCE: College Board, Advanced Placement Report to the Nation (various years).

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010

Source Data
 

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010   Arlington, VA (NSB 10-01) | January 2010