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In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Education


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MALDEN – For the second year in a row, Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for the percentage of graduating high school seniors who scored a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam, according to results released by the College Board today, April 5.

In addition, Massachusetts is among the states with the largest 10-year gains in the percentage of Hispanic/Latino graduates taking an AP exam during high school, and the Commonwealth also saw a significant 10-year increase in the percentage of Black/African American graduates who took an AP exam.

“I’m proud of the students and educators who worked hard to make sure Massachusetts remains a leader in student participation and success,” Governor Maura Healey said. “Our administration is committed to expanding access to AP courses for all students to enhance the opportunities available to them and set them on a path to a successful future.”

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“It’s great to be at the top of the list not just for participation and achievement, but also for equity and expanding access,” Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said. “Today’s announcement highlights one way that thousands of Massachusetts students can prepare for college and careers. We’re glad to see students taking advantage of such programs, whether through AP classes, Early College, Innovation Pathways, or other advanced coursework, and we’re committed to expanding access to these opportunities for all students.”

“I am so proud of all the work that was done by the Commonwealth to expand equity and access to AP coursework. As the superintendent in Lynn, it was a priority of mine to ensure that more students were given the opportunity to succeed in these classes, especially those barred from advanced courses in the past. I look forward to continuing that work across Massachusetts and building on the achievement we’ve seen so far,” Education Secretary Patrick A. Tutwiler said.

The state’s efforts to make AP courses more widely accessible have included working with Mass Insight’s AP STEM & English Program to increase AP participation and performance, particularly among underserved populations; subsidizing exam fees for low-income students; and expanding the number of high schools that offer AP courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the STEM AP Access Expansion Opportunity, a partnership with VHS Learning.

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A score of 3 out of 5 on an AP exam shows a student’s capability to complete work for an introductory college-level course in that subject area.

Highlights from this year’s results include:

  • 30.5 percent of 2022 public high school graduates in Massachusetts scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school, the highest percentage in the nation. Nationally, 21.6 percent of public high school graduates scored a 3 or higher. Massachusetts has ranked first on this metric in 2022, 2021, 2019 and 2017.
  • Between 2012 and 2022, the percentage of Massachusetts graduates scoring 3 or higher grew 5.8 percentage points, from 24.7 percent to 30.5 percent.
  • More than 90 percent of Massachusetts high schools offer at least one AP course.
  • 43.7 percent of 2022 graduates took an AP exam during high school (the fourth highest percentage in the country), and this represents a 9.3 percentage point increase from 34.4 percent in 2012.
  • 35.9 percent of all Hispanic/Latino graduates from 2022 took an AP exam during high school (the eighth highest percentage in the country), and this represents a 16.2 percentage point increase from 19.7 percent in 2012. This percentage point change over 10 years is the fifth highest in the country.
  • 31.1 percent of all Black/African American graduates from 2022 took an AP exam during high school (the third highest percentage in the country), and this represents a 10.2 percentage point increase from 20.9 percent in 2012. This percentage point change over 10 years is the sixth highest in the country.

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Earlier today at the State House, the College Board gave AP Access Awards to 26 Massachusetts high schools and recognized Massachusetts’ statewide efforts to expand AP access. Of the schools recognized, the following had at least a 30 percent increase over five years of Black/African American and/or Latino/Hispanic test takers (combined as a group) and a similar increase in low-income test-takers:

  • Attleboro High School
  • B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River
  • John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science in Boston
  • Lawrence High School
  • Lynn Classical High School
  • Worcester Technical High School

“Congratulations to the schools honored today and to the students and educators who worked so hard in these courses,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “Today’s results show us that many students, when offered the opportunity, can be successful in AP classes. I hope to see more students take advantage of this and similar opportunities in the future.”

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.