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Record Number of Rhode Island Students Take AP Assessment

Advanced Placement Participation, Performance on the Rise in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In results released by the College Board, Rhode Island students posted significant gains on Advanced Placement (AP) assessments. The graduating Class of 2017 participated in record numbers, with 5,542 students taking one or more AP exams. This represents a 10 percent participation increase over 2016, and performance marked a 5 percent increase in the number of students receiving qualifying scores.

Of the AP exams taken in 2017, more than half – 53 percent – received qualifying scores. Rhode Island also saw a noteworthy 20 percent increase in participation of Hispanic or Latino students, with 12 percent more receiving qualifying scores over last year.

"Now more than ever, you need a postsecondary degree to succeed," Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. "It’s not enough just to break down the college affordability barrier like we did with the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship—we have to make sure students are ready to excel after high school. AP courses give students a taste of college-level coursework, while saving their families money on credits. I'm thrilled that more students than ever are taking advantage of these courses, getting ready for college and investing in their futures."

"It's exciting that these students are seeing their own potential and pushing themselves to do better, aim higher, and achieve more," said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Board of Education. "Increasing participation in challenging courses is critical, but it is just one piece of our education strategy, and we must continue our efforts to improve academic outcomes and close achievement gaps across the board so that all students are able to take advantage of these opportunities."

"I want to congratulate all of the students who pursued and excelled in Advanced Placement. It's quite an achievement, and the Board is committed to helping to foster the conditions under which even more students can take this path in the future," said Daniel P. McConaghy, Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

"Advanced Placement courses, computer science through CS4RI, work-based learning – all of these deep, hands-on learning experiences engage our students and allow them to develop new skills, build their resumes, understand their own strengths, and start to think about what the future will bring," said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

RIDE’s emphasis on Advanced Placement is part of an overall strategy to provide students with rigorous, challenging learning opportunities that empower them to think about the future and explore career options. In addition to an increase in the number of students taking AP, the state has seen substantial increases in the numbers of students participating in career and technical education programs and in dual and concurrent enrollment. From 2016 to 2017, there was a 22 percent increase in dual and concurrent enrollment, with 7,191 students participating this year.

The College Board offers 38 AP courses, each of which is relevant to one or more of the 16 career clusters recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. For the full breakdown of Rhode Island participation and performance results, visit the College Board website.