TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — There’s good news for Florida students who now rank fourth nationally in advanced placement test scores, an increase from sixth the prior year.

The College Board on Wednesday released 2012 results that also showed Florida had the highest advanced placement participation rate for a fourth straight year.

Students scoring 3 or better on a five-point scale receive college credit for taking advanced placement courses.

In Florida, 27 percent of 2012 high school graduates scored a 3 or higher. That’s up from 24 percent in 2011. The state’s participation rate was 53 percent, an increase from 47 percent the prior year. The national average is 32 percent.

Twenty-nine percent of Florida’s Hispanic students scored a 3 or better. That’s up one percentage point.

Among African-Americans graduates, 7.4 percent made 3 or higher compared to 7.1 percent last year.

Eleven Florida school districts, including Miami-Dade and Broward, earned recognition as AP Districts of the Year for increasing access to AP coursework while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams.

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) led the country in Advanced Placement exam scores among Hispanic and Black students in 2011. In 2012, for the second year in a row, Miami-Dade students excelled in their AP performance.  M-DCPS has been named by the College Board as AP District of the Year for increasing access to AP coursework and increasing the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams. These results demonstrate that our students continue to respond positively to a rigorous curriculum and that our teachers are committed and dedicated to ensuring the success of all students,” said Miami-Dade County School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie is also proud of the students. “AP courses provide a great opportunity for students to be college and career ready. It’s refreshing to see this data verify that teachers and administrators are working to give students every opportunity to excel in the classroom and beyond.”

Governor Scott said, “Florida teachers continue to pave the way for the Sunshine State’s successes in education. With Florida high school students ranking fourth in the nation for success on AP exams, our teachers are truly demonstrating a high performance that competes and succeeds on the national scale. As students receive a higher quality of education, they become better prepared for college and the workforce, which is great news for Florida families. We’ll continue taking the steps necessary to ensure every teacher gets the support they need to provide Florida’s future generations with the best education possible.”

The 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation and state supplement for Florida are available at http://apreport.collegeboard.org.

Maps of Florida’s districts showing participation and success on AP Exams are available on the department website.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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