Major racial gap exists in Philadelphia area schools for AP enrollment, 6abc investigation finds

September 22, 2021
Student speaking in class

White students are almost three times as likely to enroll in AP classes, a 6abc analysis of school-reported data from the US Department of Education’s 2018 Civil Rights Data Collection reveals. Most schools in the tri-state area offer Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, which offer the potential for college credit and are viewed positively on college applications. The schools that do not offer these classes primarily serve non-white students, and students, 6abc found. Additionally, many schools, particularly schools that serve primarily non-white students, do not allow students to self-select into AP courses. There are high racial disparities in AP enrollment, particularly at majority white schools.

Bob Jarvis, Director of the Penn Coalition for Educational Equity, part of Catalyst @ Penn GSE, points to suburban schools being unprepared to serve increasingly diverse communities as part of the challenge. "What we're doing is really asking districts to take a hard, reflective look at their system, and look at again, why it works well for some kids, not so well for others, and to really address these very, very predictable patterns of achievement and attainment, primarily defined by race and poverty," Jarvis told 6abc.

Read the full analysis on 6abc.