College & Workforce Readiness

USA Today: More Students Taking, Failing, AP Tests

By Catherine Gewertz — February 04, 2010 1 min read
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A report by USA Today tells us that more students are taking Advanced Placement tests than ever before, but fewer are producing the required 3 out of 5 score that the College Board considers passing.

Using information publicly available on the College Board’s Web site, the newspaper compiled a report that paints a national portrait of all AP test participation and passage, combining all tested subjects and test-takers of multiple grade levels. This is a different kind of report than the “cohort” analysis the College Board releases annually. That report, scheduled for release next week, examines what portion of each successive graduating class takes AP exams, and how they perform. (For an example, see the story I wrote about it last year.)

The kind of analysis USA Today did doesn’t exactly delight the College Board. Its officials argue in the story that combining all the tests taken, regardless of subject matter or grade-level cohort, is misleading.

Take a look and see what you think.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.