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Report: More New York students taking AP exams

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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A student writes notes in the Advanced Placement (AP) Physics class at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. The College Board says in a new report that the number of U.S. public students taking Advanced Placement classes doubled over the last decade. The class of 2013 of took 3.2 million AP exams.
A student writes notes in the Advanced Placement (AP) Physics class at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. The College Board says in a new report that the number of U.S. public students taking Advanced Placement classes doubled over the last decade. The class of 2013 of took 3.2 million AP exams.

— More public high school graduates in New York and around the country are taking Advanced Placement exams than a decade ago, according to a report.

The College Board, which runs the exams, is issuing its annual report Tuesday on the AP Program, looking at every state.

In New York, 38 percent of 2013 public high school graduates took an AP exam during high school, up from 31 percent in 2003. In 2013, that was more than 67,000 students out of almost 177,000.

The report finds the percentage of black and Latino high school students in New York taking the exam had gone up since the previous year.

Nationwide, over a million members of the public high school class of 2013 took AP exams, up from just over 514,000 in 2003.

Advanced Placement classes are academically rigorous, and doing well on the exams can earn college credit for a high school student.

State Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz said it was important for kids to be exposed to these kinds of academically challenging courses and their exams.

"All of these high-rigor courses are what really sets apart those students who are college- and career-ready from those who are not," he said.

He said the increase in the number of students taking the exam was encouraging, but "we remain concerned that because of fiscal pressure, districts will cut some of these offerings."

Slentz said that it can be difficult for some districts, some of the rural ones and conversely, some of the urban ones, to be able to offer the classes because they don't have the teachers with the training to lead them. To that end, he said, the state has taken steps like offering a grant toward the creation of online advanced placement courses, a project that is currently in the works.

 
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