TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade has received special recognition in the 10th Annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation.

The county’s school district, along with Manatee County’s school district, were named Advanced Placement (AP) Districts of the Year for increasing access to AP courses while increasing the percentage of students earning a score of 3 or higher on AP exams.

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Overall, Florida earned high marks for the percentage of graduates from the class of 2013 who took an Advanced Placement exam while in high school, earning them a second place national ranking according to a new report issued today.

The report noted that that more than half of all of all Florida graduates (53.1%) took AP courses during their high school career.

Florida placed fifth for the percentage of 2013 graduates who succeeded on AP exams, with 27.3 percent of 2013 graduates eligible for college credit based on their exam score of 3 or higher.

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During the past decade, the number of low-income students taking AP has increased and Florida remains the only state in the nation with a large population of Hispanic graduates that has closed the equity gap in AP participation and success.

“Florida is a national leader in providing students access to college-level coursework while they are in high school,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart in a written statement. “I am especially pleased that more Hispanic and low-income graduates than ever before are prepared for success in college, career and in life.”

The number and percent of Florida graduates taking AP courses and at least one AP exam has more than doubled in the last decade, according to state officials.

The state’s Department of Education added that the AP participation and success gap for Hispanic students has been virtually eliminated. While Hispanic students made up 25.1 percent of the 2013 graduating class, they accounted for 27.9 percent of AP exam takers and 31 percent of AP exam takers earning a score of 3 or higher.

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Florida has also made progress when it comes to low income students. The percent of graduates who took an AP exam and were low-income reached a high of 35.2 percent of graduates. This is a jump of more than 1,000 percent since 2003 and a 3.8 percentage point increase from 2012.