This brief assesses trends in access to, enrollment in, and success in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in relation to school district poverty, racial composition, and urbanicity. It uses data merged from the 2011–2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), the 2012 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE), and the 2010 Decennial U.S. Census. Authors Douglas Gagnon and Marybeth Mattingly report that nearly one-half (47.2 percent) of rural districts have no secondary students enrolled in AP courses, compared with only 20.1 percent of town, 5.4 percent of suburban, and 2.6 percent of urban districts. Remote rural districts with small populations are nearly ten times less likely to offer access to AP courses than are larger rural districts on the fringe of urbanized areas. Even in districts that have some access to AP coursework, the proportion of students enrolled in an AP course in urban and suburban districts is roughly double that in town and rural districts. Students in more affluent districts have higher success rates than those in less affluent districts, regardless of place type.
National Issue Brief No. 80
Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire
Gagnon, Douglas J. and Mattingly, Marybeth J., "Limited Access to AP Courses for Students in Smaller and More Isolated Rural School Districts" (2015). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 235.
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