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MCPS Students Lead State and Nation in Advanced Placement Success

March 23, 2018

The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Class of 2017 outperformed their peers in Maryland and the nation on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, based on AP Cohort Results released by the College Board. 

The percentage of MCPS students receiving a college-ready score of 3 or higher on at least one exam rose to 52.1 percent; this was significantly higher than the 31.2 percent of the public school graduates in the state of Maryland and 22.8 percent of the national graduates.

In 2017, more than 7,000 MCPS graduates (66.2 percent) took one or more AP exams, a rate that was 16.4 and 28.5 percentage points higher than the rate for public school graduates in Maryland (49.8 percent) and the nation (37.7 percent), respectively. 

“Our 2017 graduates demonstrated a strong readiness for college on the AP exams and are better prepared for success in postsecondary education,” said MCPS Superintendent Jack R. Smith.  “We should be proud that our students are outperforming their peers across the state and the nation, but we also know there is more work left to be done to make sure that all students are prepared for success after high school.”

The racial/ethnic demographic data for the Class of 2017 and the AP exam population revealed that there are areas of opportunities among Black or African American and Hispanic/Latinos graduates.  Even though they comprised more than 47 percent of the graduating class, only 35 percent of AP exam-takers were students of these two groups.

AP exam performance among Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino graduates in the MCPS Class of 2017 was notable districtwide. The percentage of Black or African American graduates in the MCPS Class of 2017 that earned at least one AP exam score of 3 or higher was 28.2; this is 21.5 percentage points higher than the rate for Blank or African American graduates in the nation (6.7 percent). The AP Exam performance rate by Hispanic/Latino graduates in MCPS was 35.3 percent; this is 12.0 percentage points higher than the rate of Hispanic/Latino graduates in the nation (23.3 percent).

AP exam participation and performance for minority graduates continued to rise across MCPS high schools. Seventeen of the 25 MCPS high schools experienced an increase in the percentage of Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino graduates who earned an AP exam score of 3 or higher, respectively.

Four MCPS high schools (Damascus, Albert Einstein, Gaithersburg and Walt Whitman) demonstrated increases in both AP exam participation and performance for both Hispanic/Latino and Black or African American graduates.

International Baccalaureate

Participation and performance on International Baccalaureate exams is growing across the district.

International Baccalaureate programs are offered at eight MCPS high schools. In 2017, 9.3 percent of MCPS graduates took at least one IB exam, which is up 1.5 percentage points compared to 2015 (7.8 percent) and the proportion of graduates who earned at least one IB exam score of 4 or higher increased 1.1 percentage points.

In the last three years, there was a positive trend in IB exam participation and performance among all students groups although the increase remained relatively flat for male graduates, White graduates and those graduates receiving special education or LEP services.


Class of 2017 AP IB Exam Performance

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