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Advanced Placement: do minorities have equal opportunity?

Economics of Education Review Volume 23, Number 2 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Black and Hispanic high school students enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses at approximately half the rate of white students. This paper develops a microeconomic model of the AP participation decision and finds that low income is the single most important factor behind the minority AP participation gap. In addition, minority students enroll in AP math, science, and English at lower rates than comparable white students. Magnet schools promote AP participation among white students but reduce participation among college-bound black students. Race-matched role models promote AP-taking among high-achieving black males, and AP incentive programs have the potential to dramatically increase minority student participation. Policy implications include reducing the impersonal nature of large high schools by creating smaller “schools-within-a-school” while maintaining flexibility across academic tracks, eliminating magnet programs, hiring qualified AP teachers to actively mentor minority students, and implementing incentive programs that promote teacher training and provide incentives for student achievement.


Klopfenstein, K. Advanced Placement: do minorities have equal opportunity?. Economics of Education Review, 23(2), 115-131. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 2, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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