The results of AP examinations taken by Florida students in May and released by the College Board yesterday show a state stuck in a math and science rut.
The rates at which Florida students take and pass AP exams in math and science have been stuck for years at about the national averages despite the state’s program of financial incentives to schools for AP success. That incentive program has been an important factor in making Florida a national leader in AP social science subjects.
While Florida AP results in most math and science subjects were approximately unchanged from last year, there was movement in three math and science subjects – Calculus BC, Computer Science A and Biology.
The numbers of students taking and passing Calculus BC – the second-year AP calculus course – are continuing to grow despite the lack of growth in the first-year course, Calculus AB.
Computer Science A has resumed its steady growth after last year’s downward bump, which was likely caused by the introduction of the lower-level AP Computer Science Principles course (which is not shown below).
The number of students taking the AP Biology exam continued to grow quickly this year. However, the number of students passing the exam was roughly constant – reflecting a sharp drop in the state’s passing rate on the Biology exam.
The AP exam numbers reported by the College Board do not distinguish between students attending public and private schools, so all of these students are included in the numbers graphed below.