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Equity Problems Seen in AP Offerings at California High Schools

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Large California high schools with high percentages of minority students offer fewer Advanced Placement courses than large high schools with lower concentrations of minorities, concludes a study by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

The study found that high schools with more than 2,000 students, and 75 percent to 100 percent minority concentrations, offer nine AP courses, on average, while high schools of the same size with 10 percent or less minorities offer 13 AP courses.

Disparities in AP course offerings are also true for medium-sized high schools, defined as those with 1,000 to 1,500 students, the study found. In that group of high schools, the ones with a high percentage of minorities offer five AP courses, on average, while those with low concentrations of minority students offer eight AP courses.

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