While Florida’s educational leaders often brag about the level of minority participation in the state’s Advanced Placement program, there is a huge achievement gap among black students in the AP subjects that most directly lead to lucrative careers – calculus, computer science and physics. We’ve noted these gaps before, but it is is striking to see how much better the state is doing in attracting black students to AP courses in the social sciences.
The plots below illustrate the percentages of students taking and passing (scoring 3 or better) AP exams in math, science and social sciences. You’ll find calculus, computer science and physics at the right end – the lowest percentage end – of each plot. 22.9% of Florida’s K-12 students are black, so the underrepresentation is severe. And it’s even worse in the numbers of students passing the exam than it is in the numbers taking the exams.