Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

More DC Public Schools Students Take AP Courses and Exams and Earn College Credit

Friday, September 9, 2016

More DC Public Schools Students Take AP Courses and Exams and Earn College Credit

In 2016, 3,031 DC Public Schools (DCPS) students took more than 5,000 Advanced Placement (AP) exams, nearly double the number of students who took the college-level exams in 2010.

“Students benefit from the experience and rigor of taking college-level courses in high school—be that through dual enrollment at local universities, International Baccalaureate courses, or AP courses,” said Brian Pick, Chief of Teaching and Learning at DC Public Schools. “By taking AP courses, students not only rise to the higher standard required in college-level coursework, but also get a first-hand look into what college courses entail.”

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Performance in DC Public Schools Since 2010. Total #of AP exams: 68.4% increase. Total students who took one AP exam: 72.8% increase.

The percent of students who are passing AP exams (earning a 3 or higher) also increased to 34.6 percent, up 7.1 percent from 2010. Students who earn a 3 or higher on the exam can receive college credit for the course at many colleges and universities.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Passage in DC Public Schools Since 2010. 27.5% in 2010, to 34.6% in 2016.

Benjamin Banneker High School, an application high school in Ward 1, made tremendous gains on the percent of passed AP exams, increasing to 50 percent in 2016, and up from 35 percent in 2015. These gains are one of many measures of progress at Banneker High School, which also saw an increase in college readiness on PARCC, where 98 percent of students are proficient in English Language Arts and 62 percent are proficient in math, up by 24 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Benjamin Banneker High School Makes Strong Gains on AP Exam Passage between 2014 and 2016. Percentage of AP exams that earned a score of 3 or higher by year. 2014: 20%, to 2016: 50%.

Focusing on Equity

In School Year 2016-2017, all DCPS high schools offered a minimum of eight AP courses (up from six courses in School Year 2015-2016 and four courses in School Year 2014-2015) to ensure that students from every school have access to AP coursework. DC Public Schools not only offers AP courses to all students who are willing to take on the extra rigor of AP courses, but also covers the cost of AP exams. 

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in the number of students taking and passing AP exams, but we still have more work to do to support teachers and students,” continued Pick.

In order to ensure more students have access to AP courses and more students pass AP exams, DC Public Schools is partnering with local school districts to ensure that every AP teacher can attend an AP summer institute for their course. This summer, 60 teachers were able to attend institutes in Chinese language, economics, computer science, physics, and more.

DCPS is also building in pre-AP courses to ensure students are ready for the rigor of AP courses. In School Year 2016-2017, schools are offering a pre-AP course in English in high school. The program will expand in future years to pre-AP English courses in middle school, as well as science and social studies in both middle and high school.