Story at a glance

  • Advanced Placement classes often require recommendations from school counselors for participation.
  • A new study found that Black female students are less likely to be recommended for these classes than their peers.
  • The results have ramifications not only for education but also college eligibility and employment.

High school counselors are less likely to recommend Black girls and teenagers to Advanced Placement (AP) classes than their peers, a new study found, even when their transcripts are identical. 

School counselors were asked to evaluate student transcripts that had been randomly assigned racially coded names — “Deja Jackson” or “DeAndre Washington” versus “Hannah Douglas” or “Jake Connor" — based on previous research using California birth certificate data. The findings revealed that Black female students were less likely to be recommended for AP calculus and were rated as being the least prepared. 


READ MORE LIKE THIS FROM CHANGING AMERICA

WOMEN OF COLOR ARE TIPPING THE BALANCE OF POWER IN U.S. CITIES

ALL-GIRL TEEN CODING TEAM DEVELOPS APP THAT RATES RESTAURANTS ON COVID-19 SAFETY

MOST GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN HAVE EXPERIENCE ABUSE ONLINE, NEW REPORT FINDS

EQUAL PAY DAY HIGHLIGHTS THE FINANCIAL STRAIN ON WOMEN DURING CORONAVIRUS 


Meanwhile, recommendations for Black male students were relatively similar to white students, both male and female, suggesting a gender gap. The study found female students were less likely than male students to be penalized for having borderline behavioral records, but more likely to be penalized for borderline academic records.

"These frustrating results underscore the prevalence of implicit biases even among school guidance counselors," said Jason Sheltzer, a researcher at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory who broke down the study on Twitter. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


AP classes in high school can boost students' prospects for attending college, but Black and Hispanic students are underrepresented.

"Racial disparities in AP participation at the high school level are more pronounced in courses involving science, technology, engineering and math," the study noted, which correlates to the lack of working representation in STEM fields

“I think about these results in terms of the 'cumulative advantage' theory of inequality: one decision (like taking AP Calc) may not be huge by itself, but a lifetime of being 20 percent less likely to recommended for honors, promotions, etc. can add up to a lot,” Sheltzer said. 


READ MORE LIKE THIS FROM CHANGING AMERICA

BIDEN’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WILL EXTEND FREEZE ON STUDENT LOANS

BILL NYE TAKES ON TIK TOK AND THE SCIENCE OF SKIN COLOR

MORE WOMEN ARE IN MBA PROGRAMS, BUT WORK REMAINS TO BE DONE

YES - BLOWING GLASS IS BEAUTIFUL - BUT HOW CAN IT HELP KIDS STAY IN SCHOOL?

CHEF GOES FROM HAUTE CUISINE TO CREATING AFFORDABLE, NUTRITIOUS SCHOOL LUNCHES


 

Published on Feb 04, 2021