Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott Announce This Year a Record Number of Students Passed Advanced Placement Exams and SAT Scores Rose While the Nation’s Declined, with More Students Taking the Exams Than Ever Before

December 3, 2013

National SAT Scores Declined or Remained Flat, While All Groups of City Students Increased Scores

Number of Black and Hispanic Students Taking AP Exam has More Than Doubled Since 2002

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced a record number of students passed Advanced Placement exams and SAT scores rose while the national average declined, with more New York City students taking each of the exams than ever before. Since 2002, the number of city students taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams has more than doubled and the number of high school seniors taking the SAT has increased by 53 percent. According to data produced by the College Board, SAT scores for New York City seniors increased by eight points since 2012, while the national scores declined by three points. The number of city students passing one or more AP exams has now increased from 9,700 in 2002 to a record high of 19,500 students passing one or more last year. Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott made the announcement at Bedford Academy High School, one of the 260 new, small high schools created since 2002 and the number of students taking the SAT at Bedford quadrupled since just last year and the number of Bedford students taking AP exams has tripled since 2006.

Mayor Bloomberg with Bedford Academy students

“In the last twelve years we have turned a once failing school system around, and today’s announcement is the latest example of the progress our students are making,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “More of our students are taking the SAT and AP tests than ever before, which ought to mean lower scores because of the bigger pool of test takers – but in fact the opposite has occurred, with students here making gains even as students across the country slipped backwards.”

“Over the last decade, we have transformed the landscape in schools across the five boroughs – and these new numbers reflect our extraordinary progress. We have not only dramatically increased the number of students taking the SAT and AP exams, but also delivered remarkable rises in performance. Our progress clearly demonstrates that our top to bottom transformation of City schools is succeeding,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott. “While the rest of the nation remained flat or declined, last year New York City students saw increases in every SAT subject, with gains among all ethnicities. As we raise academic standards, our students rise to the challenge, and that's why they are more prepared now for college and careers than ever before.”

The number of students taking and passing AP exams has more than doubled since 2002. The number of black students participating in AP exams has increased 13.1 percent since 2012 alone, and the number of black students passing at least one exam increased by 8.2 percent since 2012. The number of Hispanic students participating in AP exams has increased 16.6 percent since 2012, and the number of Hispanic students passing at least one exam increased by 11.4 percent since last year.

In the last year, New York City students had greater gains on the SAT compared to the nation. In critical reading, city scores increased by three points, while national scores remained flat. In writing, city scores increased by three points, while national scores decreased by one point. In math, city scores increased by two points, while national scores decreased by two points.

These gains in performance on the SAT were across all ethnicities. Black and Hispanic students’ average overall score increased by seven points and 14 points, respectively, in one year. Black students critical reading score increased by three points, while Hispanic students’ increased by five points. Black students’ average writing score increased by three points, while Hispanic students’ increased by six points. Black students’ average math score increased by one point, while Hispanic students’ increased by three points.

The College Board also produced the results of its PSAT exams, taken by high school sophomores and juniors. Data shows that students who take the PSAT score significantly higher on the SAT in each subject compared to students who do not; and since 2007, the City has offered all sophomores and juniors the PSAT free of charge during the school day. Last year, over 114,000 New York City students took the PSAT and there were slight score increases in all three subjects. Since 2012, on a scale of 20-80, NYC PSAT critical reading scores increased by 0.8 points; writing scores increased by 1.1 points; and math scores increased by 0.3 points.

For more detailed information on how New York City students performed on the SAT, AP and PSAT exams in 2013, visit nyc.gov.

Contact:

Marc La Vorgna / Jake Goldman (212) 788-2958

Devon Puglia (DOE) (212) 374-5141