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More Washington Schools Offer College Prep Courses

The College Board estimates an increase in access to and student success on Advanced Placement exams in Washington state.

OLYMPIA — February 22, 2018 — During the past decade, Washington students have demonstrated continuous improvement on Advanced Placement (AP) test scores, according to a new report by the College Board.

For the past three years, Washington has ranked in the top 20 for high-performing students passing AP tests. Passing means achieving a score of 3 or higher, which typically qualifies for college credit.

“We are excited to see more students passing AP exams,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “A large part of this success comes from the growing number of schools that offer AP opportunities, granting students access to valuable college prep skills and cost savings for the future.”

One example of increased access to AP courses in Washington is in computer science. Ninety-five Washington schools offer AP Computer Science Principles courses; 32 of those courses were started this school year.

Advanced course-taking is one of the indicators the state will focus on as OSPI partners with schools on continuous improvement efforts.

In economic terms, the College Board reports that Washington students and families could potentially save more than $50 million on post-secondary tuition as a result of earning college credit while in high school AP courses.

More about the report

The College Board offers AP exams in 38 subjects. Students take the tests in May and receive scores on a scale from 1 to 5. Washington’s participation rate continues to rise, along with the number of students who score at least a 3 on an exam.

  • The College Board’s report shows that 22.9 percent of Washington graduates in 2017 scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during their high school career.
  • In 2017, most exams in Washington were taken in English Language and Composition, U.S. History, and World History.

Honor roll districts

The College Board’s AP Honor Roll recognizes school districts that increase access to AP coursework and the percentage of students who score a 3 or higher.

Washington’s 2017 public school honor roll districts include:

  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Everett Public Schools
  • Lake Washington School District
  • Longview Public Schools
  • Orcas Island School District
  • Peninsula School District
  • Shoreline School District
  • Walla Walla Public Schools

“Congratulations to this year’s honor roll schools,” said Reykdal. “Thank you for offering your students opportunities that will impact their futures and raise the bar for future generations in public education.”

More information:


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 2/22/2018

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