Equal Opportunity Schools is your partner in achieving equitable access to AP and IB courses in high schools across the country.
We are an equity and access advocacy organization, collaborating with school, district, county, state, and national leaders to increase equitable enrollment in AP and IB courses for low-income students and students of color, giving more students the opportunity to excel.
We are committed to enrolling low-income students and students of color in rigorous AP and IB courses.
Equal Opportunity Schools’ research and experience has shown that enrolling low-income students and students of color in rigorous AP and IB courses is one of the most effective and efficient ways of closing the achievement gap. Over the past five years, we have partnered with more than 450 schools, enrolling 46,000+ new students—and counting.
Our model is tested and effective.
The Equal Opportunity Schools program is a scalable, resource-effective means of closing the AP/IB access gap. Our tested model ensures that our partners are able to sustain success, even after our official partnership has ended. We are in this work for the long-haul because we believe in what’s possible for students across the country.
We collaborate with schools and districts to achieve proven results.
Student success is fostered through strong, collaborative relationships with our school and district partners. Our Partnership Directors, continuous serveries, and professional staff bring decades of experience in the work we do, but, ultimately, the success of our work belongs to the students, schools, and district leadership.
In the beginning…
Reid Saaris founded Equal Opportunity Schools because he had seen the effects that the AP/IB enrollment gap can have—on his friends and his peers when he was a student, and on his students when he was a teacher.
In high school, Reid was placed into advanced courses that prepared him for college. Across the hallway, his equally bright friend from a lower-income background was not offered the same opportunities. This simple difference in scheduling would impact both of their lives in ways both large and small.
As a high school teacher, Reid helped one of his students switch into advanced-level courses after recognizing that this student was capable of more rigorous coursework. This low-tech, low-cost intervention had a direct impact on the student’s educational trajectory. Inspired by this student, Reid’s initiative to “find all the missing students” doubled the size of his school’s AP and IB program, and tripled the number of African-American students in advanced classes. The success rate for all students on the AP and IB exams went up by 20 percent.
The work was based in research, right from the start.
In partnership with the College Board, the International Baccalaureate, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Education Trust, Reid conducted in-depth research which revealed that: while African-American, Latino, and low-income students are about as likely as their white or upper-income peers to attend schools that offer AP and IB courses, at least 640,000 of those who could handle the rigor miss out every year.
Equal Opportunity Schools was founded in 2009 to change that and help foster equity in education to students and schools across the nation.