AP for All and Computer Science for All drive significant increases in participation and performance
“For too long, our students’ access to AP courses has been dictated by their zip code,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are making the investments to right that wrong, and to ensure that every kid has access to the challenging courses they need to be ready for college and careers. The gains that students are making today show that we're moving toward achieving equity and excellence for all."
“Across all five boroughs, our students and educators continue to raise the bar, and I celebrate their progress,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “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. I am also excited to see co-located schools working together to offer more rigorous courses to students campus-wide. Today’s results show that we are making the right investments and moving in the right direction, and I look forward to the work ahead of us.”
In its first full year, AP for All drove the citywide gains in participation and performance, particularly among Black and Hispanic students. The initiative, part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, supported new AP classes at 63 schools in the 2016-17 school year, including 30 that offered no AP courses in the previous year. Through AP for All, 75 percent of high school students will have access to at least five AP classes by fall 2018 and all high school students will have access by fall 2021.
The number of students at the 63 AP for All schools taking at least one Advanced Placement exam in 2017 rose 85.8 percent, and the number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam rose 43.1 percent. These schools accounted for 32.1 percent of the citywide increase in students taking at least one exam, and 9.8 percent of the increase in students passing at least one exam. They account for 50.8 percent of the citywide increase in Black and Hispanic students taking at least one exam, and 29.2 percent of the citywide increase in Black and Hispanic students passing at least one exam.
With the implementation of Computer Science for All, the number of students taking an AP Computer Science exam in 2017 rose more than threefold, from 1,137 students to 3,966 students. The number of students passing an AP Computer Science exam rose more than fourfold. The AP Computer Science Principles exam was offered for the first time alongside the AP Computer Science A exam. Through Computer Science for All – also part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda – the City will provide computer science education in every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.
Overall AP participation continues to increase at a higher rate among Black and Hispanic students: specifically, 13.2 percent more Hispanic students and 8.9 percent more Black students took at least one AP exam in 2017 than in the previous year. Since 2013, the number of Black students taking at least one AP exam has increased 55.4 percent, and the number of Hispanic students taking at least one AP exam has increased 42.8 percent.
While these increases represent high school students in all grades who took an Advanced Placement exam during 2017, there were also increases at the cohort level – high school seniors who took and passed at least one Advanced Placement exam during their high school career. The percentage of all NYC seniors – students in the Class of 2017, who started high school in Fall 2013 – who took at least one Advanced Placement exam during their four years of high school increased to 33.4 percent, a 2.3 percentage point increase from the Class of 2016. Despite gains, a lower percentage of Black and Hispanic students take and pass AP exams when compared to their Asian and white peers. The City is moving to address these inequities with the Equity and Excellence for All agenda, including AP for All and Computer Science for All.
The Chancellor made the announcement at the George Washington Educational Campus, where the four co-located high schools now offer eight shared AP courses that students across the building can access. In 2017, the campus saw a 64.7 percent increase in students taking an AP exam, and a 42.9 percent increase in students passing an AP exam.
“I join school leaders and students in celebrating these results, and look forward to continuing this progress as more schools join AP for All,” said Senior Deputy Schools Chancellor Dorita Gibson. “This initiative is increasing access to college-level work and additional support for all students, and it is critical to our efforts to increase equity across our schools and across the City.”
“New York City initiatives such as AP for All and Computer Science for All have enabled historic numbers of City students from all backgrounds to take and succeed in Advanced Placement exams. These gains in both participation and performance demonstrate to the country how equity and excellence can both be improved together,” said David Coleman, President of The College Board. “They reinforce what a researcher from the American Enterprise Institute concluded: even as access to AP rapidly advanced over the past decade, quality was in no way diminished. He calls Advanced Placement ‘the single happiest education story of the century.’”
“The latest Advanced Placement results in computer science are a powerful indicator that Computer Science for All is driving student success across the City, with an over threefold increase in the number of students taking AP CS exams,” said Sarah Geisenheimer, Executive Director of the Fund for Public Schools. “Thanks to the generosity and commitment of our philanthropic partners, this public-private partnership is making real headway toward achieving its goal of providing computer science education to all New York City public school students.”
“Almost 4,000 NYC high school students took an AP Computer Science exam this spring, up almost four times from the prior year,” said Fred Wilson, Founder and Chairman of CSNYC and Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. “And we are just a few years into CS4All, NYC’s groundbreaking 10-year program to ensure all of our students have an opportunity to learn computer science in school. I imagine we will see thousands more of our high school students taking these AP CS exams within a few more years. This is great news for the children of NYC and the companies who operate here who need more employees with these skills.”
“Education Development Center (EDC) believes strongly in the value of learning computer science in today’s competitive world, and we’re thrilled to see such high levels of participation and success of NYC students in the new AP Computer Science (CS) Principles exam,” said EDC Managing Project Director June Mark. “EDC is especially pleased to see greater participation among Black and Latino students and girls in AP computer science as we continue to expand CS learning opportunities for these students through our Beauty and Joy of Computing partnership, supported by the National Science Foundation. The Beauty and Joy of Computing partnership is a collaboration among EDC, NYCDOE, University of California Berkeley, and CSNYC.”
“Every student deserves the opportunity to excel and the support they need to succeed,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Making Advanced Placement courses accessible to more students has been an important step forward for opportunity and equity, and I’m pleased at the progress these numbers demonstrate.”
“Advanced Placement exams are an integral part of making sure our youth are prepared for college, as they introduce students to college-level work before they matriculate. I am pleased that the overall number of NYC students taking AP courses is at a record high and hope that we can improve the ‘AP for All’ program by extending access to more course options to all New York City students,” said Senator Marisol Alcántara.
“I applaud the efforts of Chancellor Fariña and the tangible outcomes of the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives in ensuring that all students have access to AP classes. As we prepare a workforce for the future, college readiness is essential. AP exams open the door for our children to begin their path to higher education,” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa.
“I celebrate these historic gains,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Thanks to NYC’s AP for All and Computer Science for All initiatives, many more of our students are prepared for college. This just goes to show what a substantial investment in public education can do.”
“Offering AP courses at increasingly more public high schools empowers students by opening many doors for opportunities and helping level the playing field resulting in savings once they're in college," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "As a former teacher, I hope we continue increasing our investment in preparing students to take the AP tests."
AP for All and Computer Science for All are part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives to ensure that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready.
Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.
More information on AP participation and performance is available online.