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Maryland Closes Advanced-Placement Gap for Latinos


Maryland was one of 18 states recognized by the College Board for eliminating the equity and excellence gap in advanced placement achievement for the Hispanic and Latino population. Hispanics represented 6.1 percent of Maryland’s population last year, and 6.9 percent of the seniors who scored a “3” or higher, demonstrating college mastery, were Hispanic.  

Maryland has the highest percentage of high school students taking advancement placement courses and of those demonstrating college mastery on the exams, according to a report released by the College Board on Wednesday.

Of Maryland seniors taking the courses, 23.4 percent demonstrated college mastery on exams, compared to the national average of 15 percent. Maryland also is first in the nation with 37.2 percent of seniors taking at least one advanced placement exam.

The report translates into more good education news for Superintendent Nancy Grasmick and Gov. Martin O’Malley, after the state invested huge amounts in schools during tough financial times. The state’s schools were recently rated the best in the country by national publication, Education Week.

“This is a direct result not only of the hard work of parents, students and teachers, but also of the incredible amount of investment that the people of our state have made in their own future and the future of their children by investing in public education,” O’Malley said.

Superintendent Grasmick said Maryland also is third in the nation for numbers of African-American students taking advanced placement courses

“We still have some level of achievement gap, which poses for us the next step we want to take to completely close that achievement gap,” Grasmick said at a news conference in Annapolis with O’Malley.

Maryland will be receiving a $2 million grant to focus on a school system with high numbers of minority students, money primarily to be geared toward Baltimore city to encourage more students to be a part of advanced placement, Grasmick said.

“We want to ensure that the teachers are prepared, and we also want to see those students be competitive in terms of the national test,” the superintendent told reporters.

Grasmick said the state has been working to boost participation in schools that have not been historically involved in pushing students to take advanced placement courses. Of Maryland’s 24 school systems, 13 of them have a 30 percent or greater participation rate among seniors.

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