Record number of NYC students take, pass AP exams

NEW YORK — A record number of high school students took and passed at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2017, Education Department officials said.

Pass rates rose 7.5 percent, but there is a racial gap, according to the data.  More than two-thirds of city public school students are black or Hispanic, but just 48 percent of the 49,364 students who took at least one AP class in 2016 were black or Hispanic. Those numbers still represent an increase.

“The gains that students are making today show that we’re moving toward achieving equity and excellence for all,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The gains come amid a push to bring AP classes to more schools. A $21 million initiative added AP classes at 63 schools in 2016, including at 30 schools that hadn’t offered the advanced courses previously. De Blasio and the Education department plan to make sure all high school students will have access to AP classes by the start of the academic year in 2021.

Part of the agenda will work to address the disparity between races for test taking.

“Our investments in Equity and Excellence for All are working to ensure all our kids – regardless of what neighborhood they live in or school they attend – have access to the rigorous, challenging coursework they’ll need to succeed once they graduate high school,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said.