High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)

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Washington students appear to be acing one test, the SAT test. 

Average scores were the highest in the nation among states where more than 50 percent of eligible students take the college-entrance exam.

Washington high school students continue to do well on statewide tests in reading and writing, but only about half are passing the science assessment.

Of this year's tenth graders, more than 81 percent passed the reading test on their first try and nearly 84 percent passed the writing test. Results from math tests will be released in August. The passage rates are above 90 percent for this year's seniors, who have had multiple chances to pass.

Charla Bear / KPLU

Across the country, schools are trying to get more students to take classes that prepare them for college. Some offer special tutoring programs. Others just offer to pay students who do well. School officials in Federal Way say the trouble with those strategies is - it leaves is up to students or teachers to decide who’s sharp enough to take those classes.