WXXI AM News

Black and Latino students statewide have less access to advanced high school courses

Aug 13, 2018

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Parents, business leaders and local clergy came together Monday afternoon to call on the state to ensure all students have access to critical courses in high school.

A new report from the New York Equity Coalition shows that many black and Latino students don’t have the same access to high level and advanced placement courses as their white peers.

Many go to schools that don’t even offer these courses. Three out of four black students and four out of five Latino students in the city school district attend schools where calculus classes aren’t even offered.

Gladys Pedraza-Burgos is the Chief Operations Officer at Ibero.

"Rochester’s legacy is largely defined by its leadership in science, technology and innovation. Yet, as the report highlights, not everyone has the same opportunity to learn skills that will allow them to enter and excel in the high demand high wage industry."

Adrian Hale is the Strategic Initiatives Manager for the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, he said it’s no question poverty is an issue in Rochester.

"And when you graduate a young student, ill-equipped to participate in the labor market, or start an entrepreneurship enterprise, you are pretty much putting them in the cycle to repeat the same conditions they were born into."

Hale says students need to be prepared to careers once they leave high school, and deserve the same access to quality teachers, classes and courses.

The Urban League of Rochester is supporting a 5 by 25 campaign, a list of initiatives to better prepare students in the graduating class of 2025, including all students having access to AP classes, 4th year math, and the opportunity to get college credit in high school.