February 8, 2019
The Florida Department of Education recently announced that Florida has the 3rd highest percentage in the U.S of students passing their Advanced Placement exams at 31.7 percent. Florida is behind only Massachusetts with 32.9 percent, and Connecticut with 32.2 percent.
Wakulla’s average for 2018 is 36.6 percent passing AP exams, topping both the state and national averages.
The national average for passing AP exams is 23.5 percent.
Compared with all 50 states, Florida ranks first in the U.S. for the highest percentage of graduates who took an AP course during high school at 55.9%.
Superintendent Bobby Pearce notes, “One thing that is important to me is saving our parents and students from the crushing student loan debts so prevalent today. AP classes, Dual Enrollment college classes that count for high school and college credit, and Industry Certifications earned through our Career and Technical programs are all at no tuition expense to our families.”
He adds, “These options also help students decide what they are interested in doing for a living. It’s better for them to take different types of courses at WHS for free and decide that’s just not their thing than to spend thousands of dollars on coming to the same conclusion while in college or technical school.”
Advanced Placement high school courses have standardized curriculums that are rigorous and often harder than some college classes.
Says Chief Academic Officer Sunny Chancy, “Just by taking and passing an AP class, our students are already being introduced to college-level concepts. By passing the international AP test at the end of the course, our students can also earn college credit.”
Students “pass” an AP exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. However, they do not have to pass the AP exam in order to pass the AP course for high school credit.
So why would students take AP courses with no sure guarantee of college credit? As one recent WHS graduate explains, “I am so well prepared for college from just being in AP classes at WHS. Honestly, some of my college classes are easier than the AP classes I took in high school.”
Ms. Chancy stresses that AP courses are not just for students who are at the top of their class academically.
As a former AP Biology teacher, she says, “I have seen students who never thought they would take a course like Advanced Placement Statistics just thrive in there. When students have the combination of an inspiring teacher and a challenging curriculum, they often find themselves achieving what they thought was unattainable.”
AP data is from the College Board, which houses AP, plus the SAT college entrance exam, and many college prep resources.