More Delaware students taking, passing Advanced Placement courses

Close-up of a standardized test.

Close-up of a standardized test. (Bigstock)

The number of Delaware public high school students taking and earning “qualified” scores on Advanced Placement tests continues to rise, state statistics released Thursday show.

In 2017, 5,342 students took at least one AP course, up 4.7 percent over 2016, the state Department of Education said. A total of 2,936 — 6.3 percent above 2016 — scored at least a three out of a possible five points.

The College Board deems anyone who scores a three or higher “qualified” for college credits for the course, although each college determines the score that will earn students credits in a particular courses.

State data analyzed by WHYY also show that, over the last decade, the increase in the number of students taking and scoring well in AP courses far outpaces the rise in high school enrollment. For example, 65 percent more students took the test this year than in 2007, compared with a 25 percent increase in high school enrollment. The number of students scoring a three or better jumped 72 percent over that period, WHYY found.

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Education Secretary Susan Bunting said she is pleased by the results, especially by minority students.

“While more Delaware students than ever before are prepared for success in college and the workplace, we are particularly excited to see students from traditionally underrepresented groups increase their participation and performance in AP,” Bunting said in a written statement.

In the last year, the number of Latino students who took AP classes jumped 7.1 percent. The increase for those who scored at least a three rose 11.1 percent, the state said.

Black students taking AP classes increased by 2 percent, with those scoring a three or higher up 3.1 percent.

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