More students than ever are taking Advanced Placement exams, which will be taken by thousands of Lower Hudson Valley students starting next week.
But an achievement gap persists, particularly among black and Hispanic students, according to a report by the College Board, which administers the test.
Last year, the majority of students nationwide taking the exams were white compared with just 9 percent who were black. Hispanic students fared better, with 17 percent of them taking at least one AP test. The data also shows that black students were the most underrepresented group in AP classes.
“Schools that serve significant populations of minority and low-income students need support, including more professional development opportunities for teachers, and a focus on differentiated instruction and access to rigorous course work for students,” according to the annual AP Report to the Nation.
An analysis conducted by the College Board earlier this year revealed that 62 percent of students with potential did not take an AP subject.
In New York, 63,032 high school graduates took an AP test, a 24 percent increase from 2006. New York also ranked second in the nation in the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam. Maryland ranked first with 27.9 percent followed by New York with 26.5 percent.
Here is the data by race and ethnicity for the class of 2011 in New York state. (Note: The data was provided by the College Board):
Black students: comprised 15 percent of graduating class, but only 4 percent of them took an AP exam. A total of 5,520 students took an AP exam during high school.
Hispanic/Latino: comprised 14.5 percent of graduating class, with 12 percent taking an AP exam. A total of 8,434 students took an AP exam in high school.
Asian: A total of 8,250 Asian students took an AP exam in high school, or 13 percent of the graduating class.
White: A total of 35,83 white students, or 57 percent, in last year’s graduating class took an AP exam.
Low-income: 22.7 percent of the exams were taken by low-income students.
Each AP exam costs $87. However, it’s free for many low-income students because it is subsidized with a federal contribution of $53 per exam, a College Board contribution of $26 per exam, and schools are expected to waive the $8 fee.
The AP exams start Monday with chemistry, environmental science and psychology, and they run through May 18.