Access to advanced coursework in New York State

Across New York State, students of color and students from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately excluded from advanced coursework.

This presents serious equity challenges. Courses such as computer science and Calculus, along with dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) can provide students with an edge in college admissions while improving the likelihood of success in college and their careers.

This report explores several reasons for this persistent challenge and examines statewide enrollment figures for the 2021-22 school year, as well as whether students of color and students from low-income backgrounds attend schools with such courses.

Read the Report


Press Release


View the Data Note


Download Summary By Region

Onondaga County

Westchester County

Photos by Allison Shelley for EDUimage

Our Recommendations


Prioritize Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in high-need school districts across the state.


Require school districts to provide every family with information about course offerings, enrollment criteria and supports in multiple languages.


Invest in evidence-based K-12 literacy and math curriculum.


Collect better data on dual enrollment.


Enable automatic enrollment in the next available advanced course for students that demonstrate readiness using multiple measures, with the option for families to decline enrollment if they do not want their child to participate.


Strengthen NYSED’s 2019 guidance on equitable access to advanced coursework.


Incentivize collaboration between local school districts and institutions of higher education.

“Even though my high school was in a predominantly Black neighborhood, it was almost as if top-of-the-line academic honors was just filled with people that weren’t representative of the neighborhood.”

-Rebecca, student

Equitable Access Now Blog Series

The New York Equity Coalition hosted discussion groups with students to hear why this equity issue is so critical. The three-part Equitable Access Now blog series shares what they had to say in their own words. 

Proficient and Passed Over

Even when students who are low-income; Latinx, Black, and American Indian students; current and former English Language Learners; students with disabilities; and students in temporary housing demonstrate that they are meeting the state’s academic standards by scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on their grade 7 state math assessment, they are less likely than their peers to be given the chance to take advanced math classes in grades 8 and 9.

School Spotlights

Read how schools and districts across the state are working to ensure all students have equitable access to advanced courses.

Previous Data

Learn more about this issue and find additional resources and data from previous academic years.