BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Since 1955, the College Board has allowed high school students to pursue college-level courses through its Advanced Placement (AP) Program. And for the fourth year in a row, Maryland schools remain ahead of the pack.
The percentage of Maryland seniors who earned a score of 3 or higher on one or more AP exams reached 27.9 percent in 2011—the highest percentage in the nation for the fourth consecutive year, according to the College Board’s annual report.
A score of 3 or better is the threshold at which many higher education institutions award college credit for high school students in an AP course.
“Rigorous high school programs prepare our students for success in both college and careers, and we have a proud history of encouraging our students to get involved in AP and other high-level academics,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard J. Sadusky. “We seek to give our children a formidable foundation in learning, which will give them countless options down the road.”
Wednesday’s announcement follows last month’s news that Maryland schools ranked first in the nation by Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report—also for the fourth straight year. That report looked at dozens of policy and performance measures, including last year’s AP data.
“This year’s AP Report to the Nation highlights the tremendous progress and success of Maryland’s students and educators,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “It is not a coincidence that outstanding people putting in outstanding effort yield outstanding results.”
The Maryland State Department of Education has worked in close partnership with the College Board to strengthen the AP program by increasing access to all students – especially to students from under-represented groups.
All 24 Maryland school systems have at least 20 percent participation rate among high school seniors, and 16 districts have 30 percent or greater.
Four Maryland systems – Calvert, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery—had at least 30 percent of their graduating classes scoring a 3 or better on an AP exam.