NM low-income seniors and Hispanics lead nation on AP exams

-A A +A
By Associated Press

Santa Fe — New Mexico’s senior class of 2010 led the nation in the percentage of low-income seniors taking and succeeding on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam, according to the College Board’s annual report to the nation.
Additionally, Hispanic students in the state had one of the highest participation rates in the nation (49.4 percent) and the highest percentage of students scoring three or higher on an AP exam.
Students in Los Alamos High School continue this high number of test takers.
Advisement Coordinator Nora Arbuckle said a total of 272 students took 489 exams in 2010. She explained students often take more than one AP exam.
Thirty-one of these students were Hispanic, Arbuckle said, or 11 percent.
The number of students is really positive. It shows at least a quarter of the high school is taking the AP exam, she said.
“Rigorous coursework, such as Advanced Placement courses, prepare students for greater success in college and the workforce,” said New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera. “While New Mexico has fortunately seen increases in the number of students taking and scoring a three or higher on AP exams, especially among our minority and low-income students, we must do more to advance bold education reform in our schools.
Under the leadership of Governor Martinez, the Public Education Department is committed to implementing innovative measures to improve the quality of education for every New Mexican student.”
The graduating class of 2010 took a total of 9,861 AP exams.  
New Mexico had 3,980 students taking at least one AP exam during high school compared to 3,771 seniors in 2009 and 3,769 in 2008.  
New Mexico had a 22.3 percent participation rate while the national average was 28.3 percent for the class of 2010.
The results showed an increase of 9.57 percent from 2009 in the number of seniors who scored three or higher on at least one AP test; 45.73 percent of seniors who took the test scored three or higher on at least one exam.
Compared to other states, the percentage of New Mexico students who had at least one score of three or higher on an exam was 10.2 percent, while the national average was 16.9 percent.
The three most popular AP exams in New Mexico are English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, and U.S. History.  New Mexico students scored the highest in Spanish Language, German Language, Psychology, Calculus BC and European History.
Governor Martinez has made improving education in New Mexico a top priority and is committed to ensuring every student has access to quality schools and teachers.
Her “Kids First, New Mexico Wins” plan is comprised of four key initiatives to increase accountability and transparency, set our students up for success by ending social promotion, target our resources where they are needed the most and identify and reward our most effective educators and leaders.
To view the complete AP Report to the Nation, visit www.apreport.collegeboard.org.   

AP Exam facts

• 3.2 million exams were taken by more than 1.8 million students at nearly 18,000 high schools.

• The AP program offers more than 30 courses  and the majority of U.S. high schools currently participate in the program.

• More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP exam scores.

There will be a few changes in store of AP test participants this year, the Web site reports.

•The fee for each exam will be $87.

• Total scores on the multiple choice section will be based only on the number of questions answered correctly.  Points will not be deducted for incorrect answers.

www.apreport.    collegeboard.org