Advanced coursework opportunities can place students on the path toward college and career success. However, Black and Latino students across the country are often denied access to gifted and talented programs in elementary school and Algebra I in middle school. Then, in high school, Black students, Latino students, and students from low-income backgrounds are not given the opportunities to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual-enrollment programs, which are key in setting students up for success in college and careers.

For years, Ed Trust has been calling attention to the inequities in advanced coursework for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. Schools that serve mostly Black and Latino students often don’t have enough seats or don’t offer the courses at all. Our research shows that Black and Latino students are routinely successful in AP or IB courses — they are just not fairly represented nor given the opportunity. Ed Trust calls on state and district leaders to identify the barriers that prevent students of color from enrolling in advanced courses, look for ways to increase access, and support students once they are enrolled so that their students can be college and career ready.