Who Gets in?: Selection into Advanced Courses among Low-income, Ethnically Diverse Youth



Ricciardi, Courtney

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Studies of educational disparity focus primarily on students who are failing to meet minimum standards. However, looking at students who outperform the standards expected of them may also be critical to understanding the achievement gap. This study assesses top performers by looking at those who enroll in honors, advanced placement, and international baccalaureate classes among a low-income and a majority Hispanic/Latino population. The population at hand comes from Miami-Dade county and is 49.2% male, 71.7% on free lunch, 9.8% on reduced lunch, 6.5% White/Other (N= 1,753), 58.8% Hispanic/Latino (N=15,692), 30.3% Black (N=8,081), .66% Asian (N=175). Prior research finds that low-income and ethnically diverse students under enroll in advanced level coursework as compared to their White, non-low-income peers due to a variety of factors. Using a range of measures including school readiness assessments such as the LAP-D, measures of socioemotional skills (the DECA), and an array of demographic and school information provided by Miami-Dade county, this study addresses how many students are taking advanced courses, how demographic factors relate to enrollment, how school readiness and prior competence predicts later enrollment, and finally whether race-based access problems still exist after controlling for all of these factors. This will be done through multiple regression, logistic regression, and hierarchical linear modeling.



Advanced courses, Course selection, Low-income, Course trajectories, Minority students