Jacqueline Rabe Thomas’ excellent article about access to AP (Advanced Placement) courses being elusive for low-income students should lead us all to ask why. It should also lead us to ask how we change this reality. Having worked in school districts across eight states, I have found there are several reasons why the enrollment of low-income students in AP and other advanced courses is low.
he gap dividing Connecticut’s schools is much more than wealth. I would argue that it is also a gap of expectations. A major problem driving what Judge Thomas Moukawsher so aptly called the Connecticut’s “ irrational” education and financing systems is the lack of expectations for all of its students. A student can still get a high school diploma and not be able to read and write. This is because all that a Connecticut student has to do is to pass the requisite number of courses prescribed by the district and the state. However, as has been made clear over time, passing a course does not require meeting any specific literacy standard.