Huge Increase in Black Participation in the AP Program

Over the past two decades there has been a huge increase in the number of black students taking challenging Advanced Placement courses in high school. In 1985 there were only 2,768 black students taking Advanced Placement courses in the United States. At that time blacks made up just one percent of the more than 270,000 AP students. By 1990 black participation in AP programs had more than doubled. That year black students took some 6,800 AP exams.

Over the next five years the number of blacks enrolled in AP courses more than quadrupled. In 1997 blacks took 34,514 AP exams, up more than fivefold from 1990. By 2007 the number of AP exams taken by black students had jumped to 113,590, nearly 17 times as many exams that were taken by black students in 1990. From 2006 to 2007 there was a 20 percent increase in the number of AP examinations taken by black students.