Maryland ranks first in Advanced Placement performance
Second time state ranked top in nation
Although inclement weather kept Maryland's students away from classrooms last week, the state's education officials still have a reason to celebrate.
The national College Board announced Feb. 10 that Maryland ranked first in the nation, with 25 percent of its students scoring a "3" or higher, on the college-level Advanced Placement tests. The AP tests are graded on a 5-point scale; students who earn a 3 or higher on the tests typically receive college credit.
This is the second year the state has ranked first in the nation on AP performance.
Last month, the national Education Week newspaper ranked Maryland's education first in the nation for a second consecutive year.
"We're excited to be No. 1 for a second year in a row," state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick said Feb. 11 of the AP ranking. "Every system contributed to this ranking."
Black and Hispanic students, whose test scores historically have lagged behind those of white and Asian-American students, made AP strides, the data show.
Of the students in the class of 2009 who scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam, 7.5 percent were Hispanic, up from 6.9 percent the previous year.
And 19.9 percent of students who earned a 3 or higher were black, up from 18.8 percent the previous year.