Buffalo Public school parents and community stakeholders are demanding all students have access to advanced placement courses. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the city school district has new plans for allowing students to remote into some AP courses this fall.
“Parents reject that notion that our kids are not as smart not as qualified as other people - that's just not true,” stated Duncan Kirkwood, parent and education advocate.
Kirkwood said it's unacceptable to have disparities in providing advance course work for students of color.
The New York Equity Coalition issued a report showing significant disparities in middle and high schools. In Buffalo gaps exist for advanced placement in math and science.
“Because there are incredibly smart kids that go to Bennett. Incredibly smart kids that go to McKinley or South Park - our kids our incredible if they could just get the chance and opportunity,” remarked Kirkwood.
But the district is vowing that will change. Starting this fall students will now be able to remotely tap into a variety of Advance Placement courses if they are not offered at their school.
“Where some schools will have a traditional hub site and others schools will be able to connect to that classroom virtually. We want to make sure even though we don’t have a teacher in the classroom that students have complete access to the coursework other students have,” said Anne Botticelli, district's chief academic officer.
“We want ever student to have access to college level coursework and college potential credits,” Botticelli explained.
“It’s about time,” declared Michael McCarley, who works with the Buffalo Urban League.
McCarley said it appears the city district is on track to make these equity changes.
“The ability to be able to put together a cohesive and connected educational platform so that students in the community itself can actually compete in the workplace - in college - that is not something that has really been in place for a while. Now there is an opportunity for that to happen,” McCarley said.
City Honors offered seven AP classes last year, while Burgard had two and Lafayette and International Prep offered only one AP class.