Blog: Latino Ed Beat

College Board Releases AP Report to the Nation

The percentage of Latinos graduating in the high school class of 2013 matched the percentage of Latino test-takers that year, according to the 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation.

The percentage of Latino graduates and test-takers was about 18.8 percent. Latinos made up about 16.9 percent of students scoring a 3 or higher (generally seen as “passing”) on the exam. 

A decade earlier — in 2003 — Latinos made up 12.4 percent of exam takers and 13 percent of students scoring a 3 or higher. That year, they made up about 12.4 percent of the graduating class.

While they have made progress, Latinos still tend to be overly represented in AP Spanish exam takers.

The AP provides reports in each subject area. It’s interesting to see which courses Latinos are taking the most often, and which they are not taking. For example, only about 13.5 percent of students taking the Physics B exam were Hispanic. And only 9 percent of students taking the Computer Science A exam were Hispanic.

Meanwhile, about 65.6 percent of students taking the Spanish Language exam were Hispanic. Additionally, about 86.8 percent of students taking the Spanish Literature and Culture exam were Hispanic.

The report breaks down Latino participation and success rates on the AP exam in each state. The data compares 2003, 2008, 2012 and 2013. You can also download specific state reports that provide some breakout information on Hispanic student performance.

In 2013, New Mexico led the nation with Latino participation and performance. Hispanics made up 46.7 percent of AP exam takers and 43 percent of AP exam takers who scored a three or higher in high school. 

In Texas, Latinos made up 42.5 percent of exam takers and 36.9 of students who scored a three or higher in high school. In California, Latinos made up 38.3 percent of exam takers and 35.2 percent of students scoring a three or higher in high school.

Remember to ask your local school district for their score reports. Also check to see what courses Latino students are taking. Are they mostly taking Spanish courses, and underrepresented in math and science?