Research shows that when students have access to advanced coursework opportunities, they work harder and are more engaged in school, have fewer absences and suspensions and higher graduation rates. Unfortunately, many Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds lack equitable access to advanced coursework opportunities, such as gifted and talented programs in elementary school, eighth grade Algebra courses, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and dual enrollment programs in high school. As a result, these students are missing out on crucial opportunities that can set them up for success after high school.

Increasing access to advanced coursework requires commitment from state leaders to collect and analyze disaggregated participation and outcomes data and targeted, data-informed efforts to develop policies that increase access to, and success in, high-quality advanced coursework.

This brief is designed to support these efforts by providing data analyses and a scan of policies and practices in Washington for advocates, educators, and policymakers who are leading this work at the state level.

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The State of Advanced Coursework in Washington