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Virginia rises to third in nation on Advanced Placement tests

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According to a new report, Virginia boasts the nation’s third-highest percentage of public high school seniors qualifying for college credit on Advanced Placement (AP) tests.


That’s what College Board’s 2014 AP Report to the Nation found. The report said 28.3 percent of Virginia’s 2013 graduating seniors earned a grade of three or higher on at least one AP exam. Virginia’s seniors trailed behind students in Connecticut and Maryland, who earned the No. 1 spot.

The commonwealth’s high school seniors ranked fifth last year on the report after holding the number-three spot for five consecutive years.

The 2014 AP Report to the Nation also cited Virginia’s progress in narrowing "equity gaps" for African-American and Latino students. An equity gap describes the difference between a subgroup’s participation or achievement in AP testing and the percentage of overall enrollment represented by the subgroup.

The number of African-American seniors graduating from high school having taken at least one AP test has more than doubled in ten years. In 2013, 4,753 African-American students participated in AP testing, compared with 1,682 in 2003. During the same period, the percentage of African-American graduates earning at least one qualifying AP score rose 2.5 points, to 7.7 percent in 2013, compared with 5.2 percent in 2003.

The number of Latino Virginia graduates who took at least one AP exam has more than tripled since 2003. In 2013, 2,867 of Virginia’s Latino graduates took at least one AP test, compared with 920 of Latino graduates in 2003. During the same period, the percentage of Latino graduates earning at least one score of three or higher rose 2.6 points, to 7.8 percent, in 2013, compared with 5.2 percent in 2003.

Overall, 34,901 of Virginia’s 2013 graduates took at least one AP examination during their high school careers. Of these students, 22,426 earned at least one score of three or higher.


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