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All Bentonville sixth-graders to get pre-AP science

The (Bentonville) district also is participating in a national initiative called Lead Higher, which encourages students from different ethnic and economic backgrounds to take the most rigorous courses available at their schools.

The Lead Higher Initiative, started by the nonprofit organization Equal Opportunity Schools, is based on research showing academic intensity in high school drives college completion more than any other factor.

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Early college access paying off for Mounds View students

The Mounds View district has also been working closely with Equal Opportunity Schools, a group aiming to enroll students of all backgrounds in advanced placement.

“[Equal Opportunity Schools] kind of gave us a springboard into the work we’ve been undertaking this year,” Ridlehoover said. “We re-branded that as early college access. What we’ve basically done is take the principles [Equal Opportunity Schools] taught us and used those principles to try to increase enrollment across the board and across the demographics.”

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