Central Unified and Kings Canyon Unified school districts in Fresno County were among 28 California school districts named to The College Board's most recent honor roll for expanding access to Advanced Placement classes and increasing the number of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams.
That ranking puts California sixth in the nation, with about 27% of students scoring 3 or higher. Last year, California ranked eighth, school officials said.
The annual AP results released Tuesday also show the number of California public high school graduates taking and passing AP courses continues to climb, and the number of graduates from low-income backgrounds taking at least one AP exam tripling, said state schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson.
"It's important to recognize that not only are more and more students feeling equipped to tackle these college-level courses, but that more and more of them are succeeding," Torlakson said. "Along with their schools and families, they are working hard to be ready for college, and I'm glad to see the numbers continue to climb."
The 10-year anniversary "AP Report to the Nation" by The College Board shows 40.6% of California's public high school graduates in the class of 2013 took an AP exam, compared to 25.3% in 2003 -- an increase of 66,344 students.
The number of low-income students taking an AP exam during the same period increased by 45,862 students.
The report also shows growing AP participation among diverse student groups in California. The percentage of Hispanic/Latino AP exam takers in the 2013 graduating class was 38.3%, compared to 28.6% in 2003.
The percentage of black exam takers in the 2013 graduating class was 3.7%, compared to 3.2% in 2003.
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