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.