Florida ranked No. 4 in the nation for the percentage of public high school graduates passing Advanced Placement exams. According to College Board’s 9th annual AP report, 27.3 percent of state graduates scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam.
AP exams are scored from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score possible. Anything 3 or above is considered passing.
Florida’s rank rose two spots higher than last year, according to College Board.
The Florida Department of Education’s report of AP scores listed Alachua as third in the state with the highest percentage of students scoring 3 or higher. (In the audio version of this story, Alachua County schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said Alachua was ranked second in the state. Johnson was unavailable to confirm the ranking Wednesday evening.)
“That’s a reflection not only of the high percentage of our students who take at least one AP test,” Johnson said, “but it’s also a reflection of the very high passing rate that we have.”
Johnson said the reason Alachua did well on AP tests is because the county approaches them differently than other counties.
“Our philosophy has always been to be as inclusive as possible,” Johnson said.
About 40 percent of students in Alachua County took at least one AP test, Johnson said.
She said districts across the country limit the number of students taking AP courses and tests because they want to keep their passing rates up. In Alachua, schools try to encourage as many students as possible to take the more rigorous courses.
“We have an alternate way of looking at things,” Johnson said. “If they pass the AP test, great. But even if they don’t pass the AP test, taking the AP test we find helps prepare students better for their coursework in college.”
Rachel Crosby wrote this story online.