PROJECTThe Leaky Pipeline of Advanced Placement Testing

Florida has long emphasized increasing access to accelerated curricula. It is 1 of 12 states that provides funding for students to take the Advanced Placement (AP) test in an effort to ensure cost does not prevent students from taking the test and potentially earning college credit. In 2020, Florida ranked first in the nation for AP test participation rate, according to the College Board. But even as Florida has worked to ensure equal access to advanced courses and the benefits that come with them, racial disparities remain.

The map below shows the gap between AP class enrollment and AP test taking for each racial or ethnic group and each district in Florida. Across the state, about 10 percent of students enroll in AP classes but fail to take the test. For Black students, who are already underrepresented among AP enrollees, the share who take the class but not the test jumps to 15 percent. Research shows that passing an AP test is a better predictor of college success than just taking an AP course.

For more on the AP pipeline in Florida, read the full essay on The Learning Curve.




This research was conducted by researchers at the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) as part of the Learning Curve series . For more information, read the essay or access the full dataset on GitHub. For more research and data from FCAN, visit their website.



This project is part of the Learning Curve  series, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of our experts.

Research: Kristen Hengtgen and Kimberly Lent Morales

Design: Christina Baird

Development: Fernando Becerra

Editing: David Hinson

Policy Centers Center on Education Data and Policy