Maryland Schools Top Nation in Advanced Placement Tests Ranking

The numbers in Howard County are even higher than statewide results.

Maryland students have once again secured a number one ranking—this time in the number of students scoring a 3 or higher out of five on an Advanced Placement test.

The state moved up from 27.9 percent in 2011 to 29.6 percent in 2012, the highest percentage in the nation, according to a report released by the College Board Wednesday. A total of 48.2 percent of Maryland students took the exam in 2012, up from 46.4 the previous year.

In comparison, 28 percent of all Howard County high school students, including over half of the seniors enrolled in an AP class in 2012, with 82 percent also taking the corresponding exam. In addition, 82 percent of the exams resulted in a score of 3 or higher, with 56 percent scoring a 4 or higher, according to Howard County Public Schools

Governor Martin O'Malley released the following statement after the results were announced:

"Because of the better choices we’ve made together to invest in our children’s future, we’ve built the number one public schools in the nation," O’Malley said. "Thanks to our hardworking students, our dedicated educators and our outstanding parents, Maryland’s high school students have achieved the nation’s best performance on AP exams for seven years in a row—outperforming their peers and gaining the skills they need to learn, earn and grow in the future."

"The most important investments we make as a people are investments in public education. Even in the toughest times, we’ve chosen to increase school funding 45 percent since 2006. Those investments are giving our principals, our teachers and our students the resources to continue to lead the nation in graduation rates, student achievement and the highest participation rate in AP science, technology, engineering and math exams in our state’s history."

In her statement, Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent Lillian Lowery stressed the importance of continuing to make improvements.

"We are determined to graduate Maryland students who are ready for either college or the workforce, and the AP program provides students with a strong foundation upon which to build their future," Lowery said. "Our students continue to make progress, but there is plenty of room for improvement. We must eliminate gaps in achievement between student subgroups, making certain all of our students have outstanding opportunities."

Nationwide, 19.5 percent of students scored 3 or higher, a jump from 18.1 percent in 2011, according to the College Board.

New York and Massachustes trailed in second place with 28 percent and 27.9 percent respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi ranked last with only 4.6 percent of students scoring a 3 of higher on an Advanced Placement exam.

1ke February 20, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Sorry, Earl, I obviously don't know the biz.
CP February 20, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Deleted my cheeky comments. I'm above that.
1ke February 20, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Yo CP, all the time you spent copping or being a cop on Whitelock must have made you delete that. Heh heh.
Wayne Earl Jones February 20, 2013 at 09:21 PM
CP I for one am glad you decided to act like an adult and join the rest of the AP class.
1ke February 20, 2013 at 09:22 PM
What co. was that? My man!
Mary Anne Noon-Childers February 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM
FIFA. is that first in first annoying?
edb February 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM
In defense of CP...his wife may teach in an elementary or middle school where the curriculum IS designed to teach to the MSA test. Passing MSA ensures Federal dollars for the school system. MSA will soon be out the door, but new tests will follow with the implementation of Commom Core. I send my kids to tutoring to make up for what is lost in the classroom due to "teaching to the test". I'm not saying CP is correct...maybe just a little confused about the tests.
1ke February 20, 2013 at 10:57 PM
One can only hope that Common Core will result in the development of a test worth teaching to. The involvement of corporate interests on both sides of the testing equation--input through standards and curricula on one side and tests and accountability software on the other--is not a good sign, however.
Evets February 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM
BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, my children are home-schooled. No MSA or other state administered tests for them. Unlike some parents, my wife and I take full and complete responsibility for our children's education.
Joe McCarthy February 20, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Some folks just have to complain about everything! Schools,teachers ,Omalley,taxes,enough! Move if you hate it so bad. PA,VA,are looking for new residents. Try it !
franking February 21, 2013 at 12:35 AM
The same could be said of those who complain about their neighbors.
JD1 February 21, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Just wish I owned a few shares of College Board stock - oh yea they are a non profit. They own the curriculum, books, tests, and test prep - pretty cool. Wonder what would happen if BCPS developed their own rigorous courses and saved the cash.
Maria February 21, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Are you aware that private school teachers don't require the same certifications as a public school teacher? CP, have you ever taken an AP exam? You can't teach to the test, especially in a language AP exam. Stop making excuses and bashing the educational system. Our three kids go to private school (for the religious aspect of it) and I can definitely see its not above public school. Public schools have much more to offer. There is definitely more rigor and more classes offered in public school. More choices and more challenges given to them.
Maria February 21, 2013 at 01:31 PM
AND, some colleges will only accept a 4 or higher. 3 is no longer the "passing" grade for some universities.
Maria February 21, 2013 at 01:33 PM
CP, just cause my dad was a rocket scientist doesn't make me an expert on the field. If anything, we should be discussing this with your dad, not you. Now we know the real truth about it. I welcome you to spend a day in a school and teach a class of 3o students. Will you take the challenge?
1ke February 21, 2013 at 01:40 PM
The testing is the issue, JD1. The process of assembling, piloting, refining and correlating results with the objectives they purport to test is consuming of time and human resources. Then, the problem of comparing results among disparate tests to produce Power Rankings like some damn rotisserie league rears its head. After screwing up bond ratings, what else Would McGraw-Hill do to make a buck?
CP February 21, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Maria it's always been like that. I took AP classes 20 years ago. And if your paying for school and it is not any better then a public school you need to rethink your choices.
CP February 21, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Maria go vacuum.
CP February 21, 2013 at 02:55 PM
You are correct. I did lump them together.
FIFA February 21, 2013 at 04:42 PM
There's a shock, a little misogyny from CP? Nah, he doesn't sound the type does he?
1ke February 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Tim February 21, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Private schooling being 'superior' to public school is an old wives tale perpetrated by people who like justifying all of the money they blow on it. Build up that imaginary superiority complex. What you DO get from a private school is better student/teacher ratios, which can really help if your child needs that extra attention in learning. Other then that, private schooling isn't appreciably superior in anything but cost.
CP February 21, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Tim, How would you know if you've never been? I've been in both. It's night and day. Don't be jealous. My parents were teachers (public) on a teachers salary and sacrificed to send me to private high school.
Maria February 21, 2013 at 06:21 PM
CP, Not it hasn't always been like that. Even today there are some colleges which will take a score of three as credit. They just won't receive as many credits as someone who received a 4-5.
FIFA February 21, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Tim, apparently from a sample size of one, you are 100% correct. Small sample size though, probably not statistically valid.
Maria February 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM
CP, Really? is that the best you can do? You clearly have nothing to say and that's why you said "go vacuum". lol. Good one! IS that because I'm correct? lol.
Tim February 21, 2013 at 06:40 PM
CP: I can draw on my own experiences from public and private schools in New York (another upper tier education rated state). I draw upon the several acquintances I know both at work and socially whose kids go to Maryland private schools now. I know a couple who are public school teachers, and their children go to public school by choice. Honestly, I'd have looked to put my kid in private school if I didn't live in "a good area", with a highly rated public school system. There is certainly rationale for going the private school route if the particular schools where you live aren't up to snuff. All public schools aren't the same quality. Perhaps your parents put you in private school because of this scenario. Or maybe they just fed into the hype, wanted to keep up with the 'neighbors'. Jealous? Nah, not at all. I put my kid in 4 years of Goddard School because I was certain it was worth the money. When I looked into a couple of local private schools for kindergarden, I saw nothing to remotely indicate that they would be superior to Gunpowder Elementary at all. I still don't today.
Tim February 21, 2013 at 06:43 PM
FIFA - of course, this particular topic doesn't really lend itself to a lot of hard statistics. Especially when there's a subset of people who want to universally discount the ones that are provided, such as in this article.
edb February 22, 2013 at 02:13 PM
What I will say about the AP classes and tests is that the high schools want lots of kids in these classes and taking the tests even if a child is only doing mediocre in the course work. The school gets angry and refuses to move the child down to an honors class. It looks bad when you don't have these classes filled. Illusion is what the school systems try to sell these days. As for the AP classes and tests...they truly are college level and geared for above average learners.
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