Kate Ryan, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Maryland students are at the top of the class when it comes to advanced placement exams.
The state ranks No.1 in AP scoring, according to a new report.
More than a quarter of the state's high school graduates -- 27.9 percent -- head off to college with at least a 3 or above, according to a new report.
In Virginia, students rank third nationally, with 25 percent achieving the same benchmark. D.C. ranks in the bottom three, with just 6 percent of graduating students getting a 3 or better. Nationwide, 18 percent of public high school graduates achieve a 3 or better on their exams.
In Montgomery County, the record is even more impressive: 50 percent of those taking the test got a passing score.
But not all schools honor the same classes and scores.
"They could transfer from one school to another and those scores won't transfer with them," says Elena Silva, senior policy analyst with Education Sector.
A score of 3 is considered passing. Many colleges require a 4 or 5 to receive college credit, but some will accept a 3.
"There are not very consistent policies across institutions," Silva says.
Schools nationwide have encouraged more students to take the exams, especially Hispanic and black students. While their participation in AP courses has gone up, there remains an achievement gap, Silva says.
"We're seeing higher percentage of those students taking the tests, but actually are scoring 1s or 2s."
This is another area where Maryland shines, according to Silva.
"We see much less of an inequity issue in Maryland with the access to AP and the quality of the course."
Among the students in Maryland achieving a 3 or better, 10 percent are black.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)