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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #12-13
February 8, 2012
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds California's
Significant Gains in Number and Success of Students Taking AP Exams

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Wednesday he is exceptionally proud of the greater number and success of California students in the class of 2011 who took rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses, followed by demanding AP exams.

"Substantially greater numbers of California's public high school students were among the graduating class of 2011 who took challenging AP courses and then did remarkably well on the exams," Torlakson said.

"I also was encouraged to see more minority and low-income students enrolling in AP courses as a precursor to a college career," he said. "We still have a way to go to close the achievement gap among California's students, but these results show that we're moving in the right direction."

The College Board on Wednesday released the 8th Annual AP® Report to the Nation that showed California is among the top five states providing historically underserved public high school students increased access to the courses and exams.

In addition, the College Board's Report highlighted the "tremendous progress and success of California students and educators." It revealed that the number of the state's public high school graduates participating in AP has nearly doubled in the last decade, and more than 90,000 students of the graduating class scored a 3 (denoting "qualified") or higher on at least one AP exam—nearly double the number in 2001.

The College Board also released its Western Region's AP Honor Roll. On the Honor Roll for medium-sized districts were 18 California school districts, including Val Verde Unified School District that was judged a "National Leader" in the medium-sized district category.

Districts with three years of improved AP qualifying scores received the Honor Roll designation for increasing both exam participation and performance especially among under-represented student population.

They are:

  • Carmel Unified.
  • Coachella Valley*.
  • Diocese of San Jose*.
  • Dublin Unified.
  • El Segundo Unified.
  • Fremont Unified.
  • Fremont Union High.
  • Laguna Beach Unified.
  • Los Alamitos Unified*.
  • New Haven Unified.
  • Palo Alto Unified*.
  • Pleasanton Unified*.
  • Plumas Unified.
  • Roseville Joint Union High*.
  • San Ramon Valley*.
  • Stockton Unified.
  • Val Verde Unified—National Leader.
  • Woodlake Union.

* District has achieved honor roll status for years 2011 and 2012. (This is the College Board's second annual Honor Roll.)

For more information, please visit the College Board AP Web site at AP Pressroom [] External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, October 9, 2020
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