February 26, 2019
Number of students taking at least one AP exam in 2018 rose 11.4 percent, and number of students passing rose 10.7 percent
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced a record-high number of New York City students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams, a direct result of the Mayor and Chancellor’s AP for All initiative, part of the Equity and Excellence for All agenda.
The number of students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2018 rose 11.4 percent, from 49,364 students in 2017 to a record 55,011 students. The number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam rose 10.7 percent, nearly keeping pace with the increase in participation. The number of students taking and passing AP exams increased in every borough, and across all ethnic groups.
“For too long, the City wasn’t doing its part to provide access to Advanced Placement programs, sending a message to students that they weren’t college material,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We came into office to shake things up and remind all students of their potential. Our AP for All programs are moving mountains for students in every neighborhood with a record number of students testing and passing AP courses and allowing more bright young minds to earn college credit for their futures.”
“AP for All is working,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “With our Equity and Excellence for All agenda, we are raising expectations, strengthening instruction, and creating a college-going culture among both our students and our educators, and we’re seeing the impact not only in AP results but in graduation and college enrollment rates. I congratulate and celebrate the 55,011 students who took an AP exam last year and their teachers, and thank Mayor de Blasio for pursuing AP for All and other ambitious citywide initiatives that are only possible because of Mayoral Control.”
AP for All has driven citywide gains in participation and performance, particularly among Black and Hispanic students. The initiative, part of the Equity and Excellence for All agenda, supported new AP classes at 152 schools in the 2017-18 school year; this school year, the initiative is reaching 252 schools. Through AP for All, 75 percent of high schools students now have access to at least five AP classes. By fall 2021, students at all high schools will have access to a full slate of at least five AP classes, supporting increased college and career readiness for all students.
The number of students at the 152 AP for All schools taking at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2018 rose 92.1 percent since the initiative started in 2016, and the number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam rose 64.9 percent. These schools accounted for 36 percent of the citywide increase in students taking at least one exam, and 14 percent of the increase in students passing at least one exam. They account for 53 percent of the citywide increase in Black and Hispanic students taking at least one exam, and 33 percent of the citywide increase in Black and Hispanic students passing at least one exam.
With the implementation of Computer Science for All, the number of students taking an AP Computer Science exam in 2018 rose to 5,190, a more than fourfold increase from 1,137 students in 2016. The number of Black and Hispanic students taking AP Computer Science exams has increased by 55 percent and 46 percent respectively since 2017. The growth is partially due to the introduction of a new AP Computer Science Principles exam in 2017. New York City Black and Hispanic students represent 13 percent and 6 percent of the Black and Hispanic AP Computer Science Principles test takers nationwide. Through Computer Science for All – also part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda – the City will provide computer science education in every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.
Overall AP participation continues to increase at a higher rate among Black and Hispanic students: specifically, 19.4 percent more Hispanic students and 7.1 percent more Black students took at least one AP exam in 2018 than in the previous year. 18.2 percent more Hispanic students and 2.8 percent more Black students passed at least one AP exam in 2018 than in the previous year. Since 2013, the number of Black students taking at least one AP exam has increased 60.0 percent, and the number of Hispanic students taking at least one AP exam has increased 58.7 percent.
While these increases represent high school students in all grades who took an Advanced Placement exam during 2018, there were also increases at the cohort level – high school seniors who took and passed at least one Advanced Placement exam during their high school career. The percentage of all New York City seniors – students in the Class of 2018, who started high school in Fall 2014 – who took at least one Advanced Placement exam during their four years of high school increased to 36.4 percent, a 3.0 percentage point increase from the Class of 2017 and a 5.4 percentage point increase from the Class of 2016.
“These data show that New York City’s AP for All initiative is doing exactly what it set out to do, which is to get more students not only participating but succeeding in AP,” said David Adams, the College Board’s Vice President of the Middle States and New England Regions. “Congratulations to all of the students and teachers for their hard work. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NYCDOE to make sure that students at every high school in the city have access to these opportunities.”
The Chancellor and Mayor made the announcement today at Civic Leadership Academy in Queens, which has tripled the number of AP courses it offers through the AP for All initiative.
AP for All and Computer Science for All are part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives. Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, including Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools are central to this pathway.
More information on AP participation and performance is available online.
“Our schools have been underfunded for far too long. The Mayor and the Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda has showed just how much talent and potential our children have and all they can achieve when they have the tools they need to succeed. I am thrilled today to join the Mayor and Chancellor in celebrating the 55,011 students who took AP exams, and their bright futures,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos.
"I celebrate these citywide gains," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Thanks to NYC's AP for All initiative, many more of our children are better prepared for college. This just goes to show what a substantial investment in public education can do."