Statistically, children of color have a lower placement rate in honors, gifted and talented, and AP courses when compared to their peers. Interestingly, this number changes very little even when Black children share a similar socioeconomic status as their White counterparts or they attend prestigious schools. This may lead some to believe that our children just don’t have what it takes to be in high achieving programs.
Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when we factor in the variables that determine how students are placed, and most importantly, the power brokers who make decisions about who can take honors courses—courses that will often place students on pathways to collegiate scholarships and college preparedness.
Step into most classrooms in America and you will find various classrooms with varied instructional purposes. For many of us, these pathways were once thought of as academic tracks. Some pathways are intended to prepare students for vocational careers; others are positioned to prepare students for professional careers/college; and others are for the purposes of providing students with more rigorous instruction.
The latter are often called honors, pre-AP, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. With the prospects of earning college credit, earning a