Walla Walla Public Schools is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To be included on the 8th Annual Honor Roll, Walla Walla Public Schools had to, since 2015, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows Walla Walla Public Schools is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.
“Walla Walla Public Schools is able to offer a robust Advanced Placement program thanks to our community’s overwhelming support of our local levy,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Students who take Advanced Placement courses demonstrate they have the skill level to take the most rigorous courses the high school has to offer.”
National data from 2017 shows that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Walla Walla Public Schools is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“Congratulations to all the educators and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to participate and succeed in AP,” said Trevor Packer, head of AP and Instruction. “These educators and administrators are fostering a culture in their schools and classrooms that allows students to face new challenges and build the confidence to succeed.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.
In 2017, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2015 to 2017, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
• Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts; Walla Walla High School increased student participation by 51 students from 2015 to 2017.
• Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
• Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2017 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2015 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher. Wa-Hi students scoring 3 or higher jumped by 25 students from 2015 to 2017.