More students are taking--and passing--Advanced Placement (AP) exams in every part of the country, as college-level work in high school becomes increasingly common, the College Board reported Jan. 25. Many state education officials attribute the gains in participation at least in part to online courses that expand the reach of advanced-level instruction.

In every state and the District of Columbia, the percentage of public school students who took--and who passed--at least one AP test was up in 2004, compared with the graduating class of 2000.

Passing-rate gains ranged from just six-tenths of a percentage...

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