Despite Florida’s overall AP success, the state is only average on AP courses that lead to science and engineering careers

Florida may be near the top of the nation in the percentage of high school students earning Advanced Placement credit, but on AP exams that prepare students for science and engineering careers, the state is only average.

Florida placed 19th in an analysis of AP passing scores in six courses that help students advance along the science and engineering pipeline.  Those courses – Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Physics B, Physics C Mechanics, Chemistry and Biology – are among the most demanding in the AP program.  The analysis consisted of determining the percentage of 2012 high school grads who passed each of these six tests from data in the AP Report to the Nation.  The six percentages were then added, yielding a number we dub the Science and Engineering Pipeline Advanced Placement (SEPAP) index.

Massachusetts led the way with a SEPAP index of 22.4, while Maryland (21.6) and New York State (21.3) were not far behind.  Florida scored 11.4, behind regional leader Georgia (12.6).

Florida was near the middle of the pack in all the individual courses.  For example, the percentage of Florida 2012 grads who had passed Calculus AB, which provides credit for Calculus 1 at the state’s public universities, was 4.1%.  The leading state in this category was Massachusetts at 6.9%.  Only 1.8% of Florida’s grads had earned credit for Calculus BC (equivalent to Calculus 2 at the state universities) while Maryland led in this category at 4.7%.

Massachusetts also led in the percentage of 2012 grads who had passed AP Chemistry (3.5%) and AP Biology (5.5%), while Florida was well behind in both categories at 1.5% and 2.1%, respectively.

Science and Engineering Pipeline – Advanced Placement (SEPAP)

Massachusetts 22.4

Maryland 21.6

New York 21.3

Connecticut 18.6

New Jersey 17.8

Vermont 16.6

California 16.4

Virginia 16.2

Colorado 16.1

Maine 15.0

Illinois 14.6

Alaska 13.5

Minnesota 13.2

Wisconsin 12.9

Washington 12.7

Georgia 12.6

Utah 12.5

Michigan 12.4

Florida 11.4

North Carolina 11.3

New Hampshire 11.1

Pennsylvania 10.9

South Carolina 10.3

Ohio 10.2

South Dakota 10.2

Indiana 10.2

Texas 9.1

Delaware 8.8

Oregon 8.7

Rhode Island 8.1

Nevada 7.9

Kentucky 7.5

Alabama 7.4

Idaho 7.0

Arkansas 6.7

Wyoming 6.5

Iowa 6.5

Tennessee 6.2

Kansas 6.1

Hawaii 6.0

Montana 5.6

Arizona 5.5

Oklahoma 5.3

Missouri 5.3

New Mexico 5.0

Nebraska 4.7

West Virginia 4.7

North Dakota 3.8

Louisiana 2.7

District of Columbia 2.4

Mississippi 1.4

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One Response to Despite Florida’s overall AP success, the state is only average on AP courses that lead to science and engineering careers

  1. Pingback: 2014 AP Report to the Nation: AP performance in Florida? Outstanding as long as it’s not in calculus and science | Bridge to Tomorrow

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