Google said it will be giving USD 10 million to increase classroom diversity for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses among high schoolers in California’s Bay Area. The company says it wants to attract more African America, Latinx and Native American/Alaskan Native students to the subjects, where they are still very underrepresented according to population data. The company noted that these students make up 60 percent of California’s high school population but only 16 percent of AP (advanced placement) CS (computer science) test-takers.
The effort is a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools, University of California, Berkeley’s School of Education, Kingmakers of Oakland and DonorsChoose.org. These organizations will work together to “collaborate with districts, schools, administrators, educators, students and families to place and support 3,000 students of color and low income students in Bay Area AP STEM and computer science classroom,” according to a blog post from Allison Scott, chief research officer at the Kapor Center.
Through a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, Kingmakers of Oakland, Donorschoose.org, we’ll collaborate with districts, schools, administrators, educators, students and families to place and support 3,000 students of color and low income students in Bay Area AP STEM and CS classrooms. The project started last year in 15 schools across the Bay Area. Within the first year, the number of Black and LatinX students taking AP STEM classes doubled.
After two years of Chicago’s more concerted AP enrollment push, there is some evidence it’s working. At the initial six schools in the Equal Opportunity Schools pilot, AP enrollment was 30 percent higher last year than in 2017, and students of all racial groups enrolled.
Five years ago, about 250 Mather students took AP courses. Last year, that number was 500. Recent gains have come close to making AP enrollment proportional across racial groups—a rarity in the city school system.
What changed, according to Principal Peter Auffant, is that in 2017 Mather began working with a nonprofit group called Equal Opportunity Schools to identify more black and Latino students who could succeed in AP courses.