More Queens high school students are taking and passing college-level AP classes

Photo by Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office.

Queens high schools are leading the way in the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) college-level courses, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in Astoria on Wednesday.

The mayor announced this at the Young Women’s Leadership School on Jan. 17, where there were no AP classes during the previous school year but where four have recently been added. According to city numbers, Queens schools have seen a 7.2 percent increase in students take AP classes and a 10.1 percent increase in students passing these classes, the highest of any borough.


De Blasio, along with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, also announced an initiative called AP for All, which aims to make at least five AP classes available to 75 percent of New York City schools by 2018 and to all high school students by fall 2021.

“We are shaking the foundation of this system by putting rigorous AP courses in every neighborhood in every borough,” De Blasio said. “By providing the coursework needed for college and careers for all New York City students, we are sending a message that we believe in them and support them on the path to success. The increases in participation and performance we see today – particularly among black and Hispanic students – show that we’re moving in the direction of equity and excellence, and I look forward to the work ahead.”

During this school year, 63 high schools are offering new AP courses through the initiative, including 31 that offered no AP courses during the 2015-16 school year. The program is also offering 71 high schools pre-AP support to train teachers’ abilities to lead AP courses in future years.

Black and Hispanic students had the most gains from additional AP classes – 14.1 percent more black students and 9.9 percent more Hispanic students took at least one AP exam in 2016 than in 2015. This year, 18.0 percent more black students and 10.8 percent more Hispanic students passed at least one AP exam in 2016 than in 2015.

“I am focused on giving all our students the classroom instruction they need to graduate high school and succeed in college and careers,” Fariña said. “Today, we are celebrating real progress on students’ access to rigorous AP courses and exams, but we know there’s more work to do. Through our AP for All initiative, we are ensuring access to AP courses and exams for every high school student across all five boroughs, and giving our high schools the training and support they need to make this a reality.”


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