More Students Taking AP, but Racial Gaps Persist

There’s an achievement gap, not just in AP performance, but in students even taking Advanced Placement courses in the first place.

National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Feb. 17, 2014, 11:55 p.m.

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Feb. 10 to 17. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

RA­CIAL GAPS PER­SIST IN AD­VANCED PLACE­MENT TESTS. The num­ber of high school stu­dents tak­ing ad­vanced place­ment tests had al­most doubled in the last dec­ade, but hun­dreds of thou­sands of stu­dents aren’t tak­ing AP courses in sub­ject areas where they show po­ten­tial, ac­cord­ing to the Col­lege Board. And ra­cial gaps still per­sist: Afric­an Amer­ic­an stu­dents, for ex­ample, while mak­ing up 14.5 per­cent of the high school class of 2013, are just 4.6 per­cent of stu­dents scor­ing a 3 or high­er on an AP ex­am. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

OBAMA EVENT ON YOUR MINOR­ITY MEN POST­PONED. The launch of a White House ini­ti­at­ive that would sup­port young minor­ity men was post­poned last week due to bad weath­er. The ef­fort — when it of­fi­cially launches — will call on the private sec­tor to test strategies aimed at keep­ing young people in school and out of trouble. It will also in­volve an in­tern­al agency ef­fort to eval­u­ate which pro­grams best serve the pop­u­la­tion. Wash­ing­ton Post

COL­LEGE PAYS OFF. The wage premi­um for hav­ing a col­lege de­gree is at a re­cord high, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from the Pew Re­search Cen­ter. Young col­lege-edu­cated work­ers today earn $17,500 more, on av­er­age, than their coun­ter­parts with only high school dip­lo­mas. In 1965, the wage gap was just $7,400. Mean­while, a re­port from Hamilton Place Strategies finds that, giv­en cur­rent trends in tu­ition in­creases, a four-year de­gree will no longer be worth its cost in the year 2086. New York Times

De BLA­SIO DE­FENDS DE­CISION TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN. The winter storm that hammered New York City last week was worse than May­or Bill de Bla­sio ex­pec­ted, but he’s still de­fen­ded his de­cision to keep the schools open. “So many fam­il­ies de­pend on their schools as a place for their kids to be dur­ing the day, a safe place, a place where they not only are taught but they get nu­tri­tion and they are safe from the ele­ments,” de Bla­sio said. “So many of these fam­il­ies have to go to work. They do not have a choice. They need a safe op­tion for their kids.” Chalk­beat New York

COL­LEGES CLEAN UP FIN­AN­CIAL AID LAN­GUAGE. Dozens of col­leges and uni­versit­ies have changed the word­ing on their fin­an­cial aid web­sites in re­sponse to cri­ti­cisms from Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, D-Md., that col­leges were mis­lead­ing stu­dents. Cum­mings’ of­fice iden­ti­fied 111 cases of col­leges re­quir­ing stu­dents to sub­mit fee-based forms for fed­er­al stu­dent aid or im­ply­ing that stu­dents would have to pay to ac­cess fed­er­al aid, even though fed­er­al law re­quires in­sti­tu­tions to ac­cept and pro­cess such forms for free. In­side High­er Ed


WHY CENT­RAL FLOR­IDA KIDS CHOOSE COM­MUNITY COL­LEGEA part­ner­ship between UCF and loc­al two-year pro­grams is help­ing keep a uni­versity de­gree with­in the reach of low-in­come, minor­ity stu­dents. By Soph­ie Quin­ton.

WHY SOME HB­CUs HAVE MORE WHITE, HIS­PAN­IC STU­DENTSRoundup: Com­pet­i­tion for stel­lar Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents is so stiff, some in­sti­tu­tions now fill the gap with low-in­come stu­dents, cre­at­ing more chal­lenges to the bot­tom line. By Soph­ie Quin­ton.

RU­BIO: HERE’S HOW TO MAKE COL­LEGE AF­FORD­ABLE. Amer­ic­ans — in­clud­ing first-gen­er­a­tion col­legi­ans — need high­er-ed tools geared to­ward the new eco­nomy, the sen­at­or said at a Next Amer­ica event. By Stephanie Czekal­in­ski

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