School tries the concept of allowing students to Self-Nominate into AP classes, also AP class meets with standard track, and students can also leave AP class easily.
One thing it means is a big push to open the doors of AP classrooms to everyone, not just the white, affluent students who disproportionately fill those chairs. That work is complex, slow-moving, and far from finished.
At tables in the sunny lunchtime commons, brown, black, and white students offer many stories of counselors and teachers who encourage them to try higher-level classes. But that sense of freedom and support isn’t universal.
“They don’t treat people the same,” said an African-American girl who declined to give her name, even though she takes AP classes.
“They kind of size you up, like if they think you’re going to a four-year college, they’re like, ‘AP’s hard, but keep trying.’ If they think you’re maybe just going to community college, it’s more like, ‘Sure, if AP’s too hard, don’t do it.’ “