The College Board reported in a statement on Wednesday in its "Ninth Annual AP Report to the Nation" that Maryland had held steady at the top of the ranking of states for high school student testing on the Advanced Placement exams. Virginia dipped from third in the nation to fifth.
Here's a closer look at the AP report and how Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., students fared in the testing.
* According to the College Board's report , the percentage of public high school student graduates with a 3 or higher on the AP Exam was 29.6 percent. For Virginia, it was 27.2 percent while in Washington it was 9.9 percent. D.C. placed 45th out out of 51 rankings.
* Virginia had been placed third for five years prior to the change.
* The national standard was 19.5 percent, a percentage that 17 states placed above. Regionally, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia all placed below the national standard.
* Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley issued a statement on the findings, noting that the state had been highly ranked for seven years in a row. In his statement, O'Malley said that the results came because of "better choices we've made together to invest in our children's future" and said that "the most important investments we make as a people are investments in public education. Even in the toughest times, we've chosen to increase school funding 45 percent since 2006."
* The Washington Post provided a response from Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles B. Pyle. Although Massachusetts and Florida outpaced Virginia in the findings, Pyle said "The trend line continues to be very positive in Virginia," adding that "What's happened is we have been surpassed by a couple of states that have done some things on the ground to increase participation."
* Virginia had been third behind New York last year.
* Maryland changed 16.5 percent since 2002, when the percentage was at 13.1 percent.
* Virginia rose 16.8 percent from 10.4 percent in 2002, while Washington went up from 2.3 percent in 2002, 7.6 percentage points higher.
* The Washington Post reported that participation and performance among students in 2012 was up, with 954,070 students taking at least one AP exam.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington in Germantown, Md.
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