The record number of students at T.C. Williams High School who scored top grades in Advanced Placement (AP) tests this past year has led to ACPS being one of only two public school divisions in the state to be recognized for its achievement by the College Board.
T.C. Williams made the College Board’s 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll for expanding enrollment opportunities for all students, while simultaneously achieving significant gains in AP test scores. This increase in access was seen across all students, including those who historically have not enrolled in AP-level courses.
This is the perfect example of how T.C. Williams is providing students with access to opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the future. We are proud to lead the way when it comes to increasing access to higher level classes for all students and of the high level of achievement demonstrated by our students,” said T.C. Williams Principal Peter Balas.
The T.C. Williams class of 2018 saw an all-time high in the number of AP tests scores in the top grades in 2017-18. A record 22 percent of tests scored a five, the top level possible in AP tests. In addition, a record 72 percent of tests in 2018 achieved a score of three, four or five — the scores required by many colleges and universities to grant credit or for placement.
Both of these results are the best that ACPS has seen in AP tests since the school division started to pay for students to take them in 2005. That year, only 9 percent of tests scored a five and 39 percent of tests scored a three or above. The jumps are also the greatest increase in a single year in AP student performance seen at T.C. Williams dating back to 2005.
In addition to higher scores, more students also took AP tests this year. More than a third of all students (36 percent) in grades 10 through 12 took at least one AP test in 2018 — an all-time high for the school division, with 931 students taking 2,021 subject tests.
AP courses provide students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in high school. Through AP courses, high school students engage in rigorous college-level coursework in a variety of subjects where they not only gain college-level skills but can also earn college credit while they are still in high school.
Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture.
My AP courses really shaped my educational experience at T.C. We are given work that really matters to us and we are really pushed as thinkers and learners. I know that I’m learning a lot that really matters to me and that my teachers are committed to their students. And, the fact that ACPS pays for students to take the AP exams means that students are not limited in the number of AP classes they can take based on financial constraints. We are given an opportunity to take as many AP classes as we want in so many different subjects.” — Jasselene Paz, T.C. Williams High School senior
Taking AP courses has helped improve and build skills that I will need and use in college and life, such as developing my work ethic, time management and overall critical thinking skills. I have also become much more comfortable in interacting with my teachers and I am not shy anymore when it comes to asking for help.” — Aidan Donnellan, T.C. Williams High School senior