For the third year in a row, more Maryland high schoolers passed advanced placement (AP) courses than students in any other state, according to the College Board’s annual “AP Report to the Nation.”

The report measures how educators across the country are increasing access to AP courses – college preparatory classes that allow high school students to earn college credit.

Just over 26 percent of Maryland seniors from the class of 2010 passed at least one AP class. The state was succeeded by New York and Virginia, whose seniors excelled in AP by 24.6 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively.

“Maryland puts a great deal of emphasis on having the best prepared high school graduates, and the Advanced Placement Program is a key part of this effort,” Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick said in a statement.

Governor Martin O’Malley echoed her sentiments. “Maryland is a national model for quality public education even in tough times,” he said. “Today’s recognition of the highest level of performance on AP exams serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of our talented educators, principals, superintendents, and students who continue to demonstrate outstanding achievement for our public schools.”

O’Malley’s administration recently set a goal to improve student achievement and college readiness by 25 percent by the year 2015.

As a nation, more students excelled in AP last year than in 2001, and though Blacks remain underrepresented in the college-prep classrooms, their passage rates ballooned from 7,764 in 2001 to 19,675 in 2010.

Black students made up only 9.9 percent of Maryland high schoolers to pass AP courses.


Shernay Williams

Special to the AFRO