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TABLE 5-2 Six-Year Graduation Rate of Students Who Passed AP Examinations and Students Who Did Not Take AP Examinations


Passed AP Examination

Did Not Take AP Examination










NOTES: Data are for all students graduating from Texas public high schools in 1998 and enrolling in a Texas public college or university (88,961 students). AP examinations were given in the core subjects of English, mathematics, science, and social studies to students in grades 10–12. The percentage shown is the proportion of students who obtained bachelor’s degrees or higher within 6 years of secondary-school graduation.

SOURCE: National Center for Educational Accountability at:

than the 1995 average scores of the students from all 14 participating countries. Similarly, US students who passed AP physics in 2000 outperformed the 1995 US national TIMSS average and exceeded the 1995 scores for all participating countries except Norway (Table 5-3). It is clear that engaging K–12 students in challenging courses taught by qualified teachers will enhance their educational experiences and may increase the number of students who enter college and complete higher education degrees.

Data from the Texas APIP demonstrate that combining incentives and teacher education can increase student participation (Figure 5-3), and APIP has increased academic performance for minority students in high school. The Dallas school district is the nation’s 12th largest. It has a 93% minority enrollment, and 81% of its students come from low-income households. Yet Dallas students achieve outstanding AP results. African American and Hispanic students pass AP examinations in mathematics, science, and English at a rate four times higher than the national average for minority students, and female students pass the examinations at twice the national rate.49


The committee proposed expansion of two additional approaches to improving K–12 science and mathematics education that are already in use:

  • Statewide Specialty High Schools. An effective way to increase student achievement in science and mathematics is to provide an intensive


Passing rate is calculated as number of students passing exam per 1,000 junior and senior high school students in the Dallas Independent School District compared with all of Texas and all of the United States.

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