Why aren’t minorities in advanced classes?

New club encourages minority representation in advanced classes


Nick Chamness, Sports editor

The percentage of African Americans earning credits in Advanced Placement classes and International Baccalaureate classes according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, is about 23 percent, 11 percent less than the next lowest percentage from people of Hispanic descent since 2013. Junior Mark Ayiah and his sister, Marie Ayiah began to look more into this stereotype and found some discoveries that wasn’t very surprising to them . 

“It struck her that she was often the only black person in her advanced classes,” Mark said. “Due to that, Marie decided to do research and find the actual statistics about minorities in advanced academic classes, and their scores.” As they expected, the enrollment was significantly low, and so were the AP exam scores.

Ayia has started a club dedicated to helping minorities to become more involved and do better academically in the higher  level classes such as AP or IB. With the number of credits earned by African Americans taking AP and IB classes being the lowest among all the others with 2.7 credits earned, the next lowest being white.

“We plan on fostering a distinguishable increase in enrollment and performance of minority groups in academic classes throughout Allen High School,” Mark said.

50.94 percent of the students at Allen High School are minorities, with 13% of those people being economically disadvantaged according to the Allen ISD website. If these minorities are able to do well in top tier classes, Ayiah believes they will have more opportunities to earn scholarships and go to a good college.

“We want to encourage these students that they are capable of challenging themselves and taking harder classes, and we also want to provide them with the necessary support for them to do well,” Mark said.

While the majority of students in AP and IB classes are white (57.4 percent), Hispanic (15.8 percent), and Asian (11.6 percent) according to the education department, there are many other minorities that aren’t involved in these higher level classes. The Ayiahs want to change that.

“I think that diversity is great for a number of reasons,” Mark said. “Our student body gets access to a wider range of cultures and it’s a progressive and natural learning experience for everyone.” 

With the Ayiahs’ club, they hope they can change the amount of minorities taking higher level classes and give these students the opportunity in order for them to be more successful in the future.

“Our club is about both increasing enrollment and academic performance in advanced classes for specifically minority, groups.” Mark said.