A first-ever state-by-state survey released Jan. 25 by the nonprofit College Board details the number of high school students who take at least one of the board's 34 Advanced Placement exams, which are considered a measure of college readiness. Many colleges and universities give credit to students who score 3 or higher on a scale of 5 on the tests. The College Board also administers the SAT college entrance exams.
New York leads the nation, with 21 percent of its high school graduates scoring 3 or higher on at least one AP exam, according to the report. Maryland, Utah, Florida and California followed with between 18 and 20 percent of students passing the exams.
Although all states improved the number of students passing at least one AP test, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington state made the biggest gains in the past five years, with increases ranging from 4 percent to 6 percent.
Nationally, 13 percent of high school students passed at least one AP exam, but 37 states fell below that mark.
Several states are trying to increase the number of high school students who take college-preparatory courses and exams, and Virginia's Gov. Mark Warner (D) has made it one part of his key education initiative as chairman of theNational Governor's Association.