February 18, 2015 | Number of The Day
Only 14% of high school students the largest NJ school systems take at least one AP course, lower than national average

Two years ago, ProPublica analyzed U.S. Department of Education data from across the country looking to see how large school systems and states compare when it comes to offering opportunities to a broad economic spectrum of the population. Although New Jersey fared comparatively well, one statistic stood out: only 14 percent of students in New Jersey took at least one Advanced Placement course. The data was limited to the 135 districts in the state with more than 3,000 students. An interactive data feature makes it possible to look at each of these districts.

Of those who took an AP course, 62 percent passed — higher than the national average.

Most other indicators in what ProPublica called the “opportunity gap” were either slightly above or at the national average: 16 percent of students take advanced math; 12 percent are in a gifted and talented program; 20 percent take chemistry; and 9 percent take physics.

One final statistic jumped out as high above the national average: sports participation in New Jersey is 52 percent.