Maryland leads the nation in AP
An argument could be made that the College Board's ranking of Maryland as No. 1 on AP tests passed is a much more significant accomplishment than the Education Week ranking that came out last month.
As my colleague, Childs Walker, writes in today's paper Maryland had the highest percentage of seniors last year who took and passed at least one AP test in their high school career. One can argue that this is the result of a lot of high-achieving students in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., suburbs, but in fact, the numbers of students around the state taking AP also has increased a lot in the past decade.
Still, the AP is a consistent, rigorous standard and the fact that the state's pass rate was 24.8 percent, nearly 10 percentage points higher than the national average, should give parents and educators a sense of what is possible among its highly motivated students. And there are a lot of them. In Maryland, 40 percent of seniors took an AP course before they graduated, giving them a taste of what college may be like. That is significant because studies have shown that students who have taken a course, even if they didn't pass the test, are three times more likely to graduate from college.