Monday, December 01, 2014

Rural Ohio students have fewer opportunities to take AP classes than their suburban counterparts

Rural students have fewer opportunities than their urban counterparts to take Advanced Placement classes, Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel report for The Columbus Dispatch. Students across Ohio are supposed to have the same access to AP classes, but the Dispatch found that metro Dublin offers 92 AP classes—including studio art, computer science, calculus, engineering design, statistics, theater, Japanese, German, Latin and Chinese—while rural Hamilton Local, located in the same county as Dublin, only offers nine AP classes.

Susan Witten, Hamilton’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, told the Dispatch, “We can’t afford to have a class with five students in it. If we have a student interested in Advanced Placement French, for instance, we can arrange for independent study.”

Analysis of state schools found that "students living in poorer, more rural areas of the state have access to fewer overall classes and far fewer high-level courses, than do students living in suburban and urban districts," the Dispatch writes. Analysis found that rural districts average "fewer than 6.5 high-level courses: upper-level math, Advanced Placement, general advanced courses and nontraditional foreign languages such as German and Chinese," while suburban districts average 26 high-level courses.

Overall, the analysis found that "the average rural district has 146 high-school courses, compared with 241 at suburban schools," the Dispatch writes. "However, the actual number of courses offered by all districts is smaller because the data list some courses multiple times if they are offered in more than one grade." (Read more)

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