Federman, Maya, & Pachon, Harry
Addressing Institutional Inequities in Education: The Case of Advanced Placement Courses in California
Evaluate equality of opportunities that students of different races/ethnicities/social classes & communities have to participate in AP courses in CA.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Teachers College Press
Bringing Equite Back: Research for a New Era in American Educational Policy, Chapter 6, pp 136-156
- Once controlled for enrollment size, evidence of a negative relationship between AP courses and underrepresented minority concentration emerged.
- For large high schools-with 2,000 or more students- those with minority enrollments of 25% or more offer just under seven types of AP courses on average compared with nine courses for those schools with 10-25% minorities and ten courses for schools with less than 10% minority populations. Students attending high schools with higher minority concentrations have less opportunity to enroll in these important gatekeeper courses than do students in schools of similar size with lower minority concentrations.
- To the extent that minority students are also less likely to be encouraged to enroll in the AP courses that are at their school, the inequality of opportunity grows.
- Having a larger proportion of low-income students also is correlated with fewer AP courses offered, although the differential is smaller than in the case of racial/ethnic composition.
- High schools with less than 10% low-income students offer 6.5 AP courses on average compared with roughly 4.5 courses in high schools with more than 25% low-income students.
- On average, urban and suburban schools offer roughly the same number of AP courses.
- Regression results indicate that a 50 percent point increase in Latino/Black enrollment is associated, on average, with a decrease of 1.6 AP courses.
- Regression results indicate that a 50% age point increase in low-income student enrollment is associated with a decrease of AP courses offered of .6, a decrease of 12%.
- Enrollment size is also strongly correlated with AP course offerings, as expected. The coefficient of .0022 implies that, on average, an increase of 1,000 students is associated with a 2.2 course increase in the number of types of AP courses offered.
- Compared with schools of similar size and demographics characteristics, rural schools offer 1.8 fewer AP courses on average. This is an important result in that it implies that rural schools offer fewer AP courses more generally, not just because they are smaller.
- For large schools, the difference in course offerings between low-and high-minority concentration schools is larger in the suburbs.
- For large schools, the "suburban advantage" is far less in suburban high schools with more underrepresented minorities.
- Among rural schools, minority concentration is not correlated with average AP course offerings.
- On average, an increase of 1,000 students is associated with an increase of .24 section per AP course overall, a 15% increase.
- More sections of AP courses are offered in suburban schools.
- It is important to educate students and parents early on about the importance for college admissions of programs like advanced placement.
Chapter in Book
Ability Groups, College, Hispanics, Latinos, Racial Composition, SES, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Public High Schools in California
Unit of Analysis:
- Interested in assessing whether there is correlation between schools with large number of underrepresented minority students -namely, African American and Latino students- and lesser offerings of AP courses.
- Uses data from two sources: the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) and School Fiscal Services, both from the California Department of Education. The data gathered from Fall 1997 and include 870 public high schools in California.
- DV: Number of AP courses -not classes- offered at a school.
- IV: Racial/ethnic composition of the school. Specifically the percentage of students who are Latino or Black, school size, percentage of low-income students, location-urban, suburban, or rural.