Saturday, January 10, 2009

Student Participation in Acceleration Programs Has Increased;

    Student Participation in Acceleration Programs Has Increased; Legislature Has Taken Steps to Reduce Program Costs        

A growing number of Florida’s high school students are taking advantage of acceleration courses and programs. Compared to the 2002 high school graduates examined in our prior report, a larger percentage of 2007 graduates participated in at least one acceleration course. Most of this growth resulted from a large increase in the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses. While more high school students are participating in Advanced Placement courses, the percentage of these students qualifying for college credit has decreased slightly since 2002.

Acceleration programs are relatively expensive to provide at high schools and the state’s costs of generating college credit hours through these programs exceeds the cost of providing comparable courses at postsecondary institutions. Consistent with our prior recommendations, the 2008 Legislature took steps to address this issue and control program costs by reducing the rate of incentive funding for accelerated programs. This change should save the state $34 million.

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