By encouraging advanced courses for minority students, some school districts are hoping to bridge the gap that often exists when qualified students do not enroll in advanced placement courses or are overlooked for admission.
Christie Trinh is a senior at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas, who made a plan for her future in college. She started taking advanced high school courses while in eighth grade. “My ultimate goal is to go to college and not spend a lot of money,” she said.
“I decided on civil engineering,” she said of her prospective college major. “My 10th-grade teacher thought it would be a great fit for me, and it is.”
While Trinh was proactive, often disadvantaged and minority students do not connect to the challenging courses which pave the way to a college education that is focused on a clear goal.
Arlington is making efforts to bridge the gap which are getting national recognition. The district has recently been recognized at a White House ceremony as one of 40 districts that excelled in the Equal Opportunity Schools program.
Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos intends for the program to cut the gap in half in Arlington.
“The Arlington district was one of the first in the state to qualify for it and make this a priority,” said Reid Saaris, the founder and CEO of Equal Opportunity Schools. “We think Arlington could represent the largest district in the country to represent student diversity.”