From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Alejandra Matos, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

More Minnesota students taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement (AP) courses

Posted by: Kim McGuire Updated: February 13, 2014 - 12:02 PM

A new report out this week by the College Board shows that number of Minnesota students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses has almost doubled over the past decade.

Minnesota students apparently like to be challenged.

"Our students are not only challenging themselves and proving that they are ready for college and career, they are also earning a college credit which means substantial cost savings as they make the transition to postsecondary education," said Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

In 2013, Minnesota students earned 126, 093 college credits by taking AP exams. With an average rate of $348.93 per credit hour, the department estimates students and their families have saved nearly $44 million.

It's also worth noting that Minnesota students aren't just taking the AP test. They're passing it, too.

A decade ago, 5,882 students passed the exam. Last year, 11,497 received a passing score, according to the College Board report.

The report also shows that while the number of white students passing the AP exams far exceeds minority students, the number of Black and Hispanic students passing the exam over the past decade has almost quadrupled. The number of white students passing the exam came close to doubling over the same time period.

Nationally, about 20.1 percent of the 2013 graduates taking AP exams received passing scores. Leading the nation on AP pass rates is Maryland at 29.6 percent. Minnesota's pass rate was 20.3 in 2013, according to the report.

Cassellius shared the state AP results at a legislative committee hearing this week.


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