Report Finds That Black Students Do Not Have Equal Access to Advanced K-12 Courses

A new report from The Education Trust finds that Black students across the country experience inequitable access to advanced coursework opportunities. They are locked out of these opportunities early when they are denied access to gifted and talented programs in elementary school, and later in middle and high school, when they are not enrolled in eighth-grade algebra and not given the chance to participate in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and dual enrollment programs. As a result, these students are missing out on critical opportunities that can set them up for success in college and careers.

Among the key findings in the reports are:

  • Black students are successful in advanced courses when given the opportunity.
  • While Black students are often successful in advanced coursework opportunities, they are still not fairly represented in advanced courses.
  • Black students are fairly represented among schools that offer advanced courses. But there are still too many schools that don’t offer the courses at all.
  • The schools that enroll the most Black students have slightly fewer students enrolled overall in advanced courses than schools that serve fewer Black students.
  • Among schools that offer advanced courses, Black students are often denied access to those courses. This is especially true in racially diverse schools.

The full report, Inequities in Advanced Coursework: What’s Driving Them and What Leaders Can Do, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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  1. Andrea Smart says:

    Great report! It helps if AA students have an advocate in school districts or, if more parents got involved with schools and the academic opportunities they offer. Glad the research (and students) are getting the attention. The IB programs in middle schools are phenomenal. Additionally dual enrollment is a virtual life saver for many parents. Imaging leaving high school with a HS diploma and a two year associate degree? Image if just five percent more of African American families with high school students took advantage of that opportunity?

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