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ERIC Number: ED502057
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Gaining or Losing Ground? Equity in Offering Advanced Placement Courses in California High Schools 1997-2003
Zarate, Maria Estela; Pachon, Harry P.
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
Analysis by researchers of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) on Advanced Placement (AP) courses in California public high schools in the mid-1990s concluded that although high school AP programs offered talented youngsters the opportunity to stretch their mental horizons and preview the challenges of college-level coursework, the programs were not available to all students in the state of California. The findings of this report indicate that access to AP courses remains an unlikely opportunity for Black and Latino students and many low-income/rural students regardless of ethnicity and that AP courses continue to be an inequitable sorting mechanism that limits some groups' college preparation opportunities. Policy recommendations include: (1) Better communication with students and parents about the role AP courses play in determining post-secondary education options; (2) State funding to increase AP courses at schools that have disproportionately lower AP class offerings should be considered; (3) Consideration of compulsory minimum number of AP courses available at every school of similar size enrollment; (4) Amelioration of the disadvantages of rural and small schools by increasing the number of AP courses that can be completed online and decreasing the costs associated with this class format and by collaborating with centrally located college campuses to offer AP courses to students whose schools may not offer them; (5) Reassessment by higher education institutions of how AP courses are incorporated into calculation of GPA and overall admissions review; and (6) Annual publication of AP courses offered by all state public high schools. Further research is recommended to investigate the actual number of classes offered for each AP course and the number of students actually taking AP classes to reveal racial disparities in who is enrolled in the AP classes at the school level, and to examine the distribution of AP course subjects across schools. (Contains 4 endnotes and 12 tables.)
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Ralph and Goldie Lewis Hall, 650 Childs Way Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626. Tel: 213-821-5615; Fax: 213-821-1976; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Tomas Rivera Policy Inst., Claremont, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California