From President Barack Obama to guidance counselors and savvy parents, adults urge teens to take the most rigorous classes to prepare for college, get an edge in admissions and rack up credits even before stepping on campus
But tens of thousands of Illinois students remain shut out of Advanced Placement classes — long considered the gold standard for college readiness — because of a dearth of courses elsewhere in the state coupled with disparities in the Chicago region, where AP classes range from plentiful to meager, according to a recent Chicago Tribune story.
To participate in the AP program, high school teachers must provide the College Board, the nonprofit that administers the national program, with course materials every year that demonstrate the rigor appropriate for a college-level class.
As many as 33 Advanced Placement courses could be offered during the 2010-11 school year. Students at Lane Technical High School had 27 subjects to choose from, while Whitney Young Magnet High School provided 26, the Chicago Tribune reported last week.
The range at West Side high schools? Seven to zero. Here’s how Austin stacked up:
Austin Business & Entrepreneurship High School offered AP courses in 1 subject – U.S. Government and Politics.
Austin Polytechnical Academy offered AP courses in 1 subject – Calculus AB.
Michele Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School offered AP course in 6 subjects – Biology; English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition; Psychology; Statistics; U.S History.
Frederick Douglas Academy High School offered AP courses in 6 subjects – Chemistry; English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition; Environmental Science; U.S. Government and Politics; U.S. History.
Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy High School offered AP courses in 7 subjects – Biology; English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition; European History; Psychology; U.S. History; World History.
VOISE Academy High School offered AP courses in 0 subjects. It was one of 79 high schools in Cook County with no AP classes, according to the Chicago Tribune.