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The Plight of Invisibility

A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os


Donna Marie Harris and Judy Marquez Kiyama

The Plight of Invisibility offers unique contributions that inform the use of a community-based research approach that examines educational issues identified by urban, Latina/o communities. It offers a new lens from which to understand the circumstances of Latina/o students in schools as they navigate in social systems that are in opposition to them, thus rendering Latina/o students and their families invisible. Despite these challenges, the book offers examples of community programs and resources that support and address the needs of Latina/o students as they build resiliency and determination to persist. Community organizations and advocates, educational researchers, practitioners, students, and policymakers will find The Plight of Invisibility useful to reframe deficit discourses about Latina/o students and their families. In addition, the book is appropriate for classes including methodology courses focused on community-based research, educational policy and/or college access courses, and Latina/o studies courses.
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8. Advanced Placement and College Readiness: An Examination of AP Course Availability and Enrollment Between Urban and Suburban Schools in Western New York



8. Advanced Placement and College Readiness: An Examination of AP Course Availability and Enrollment Between Urban and Suburban Schools in Western New York


Recent educational policy including Race to the Top focuses on improving college readiness among all students in the United States, with an explicit expectation that all students will be college and career ready by 2020 (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). In addition, the development of the Common Core Standards incorporates college and career ready benchmarks and assessments. However, schools vary in their capacity to prepare students for college. Evidence from New York State shows significant disparities in college readiness, with substantial gaps between urban and suburban school districts. Despite a 2009 high school graduation rate of 69% in New York City, only 23% of those graduating were found to be college ready. In comparison, the suburban school district of Port Washington in Nassau County had 95% of their students graduating from high school, with 70% rated as college ready (Otterman, 2011). These discrepancies between high school graduation and college readiness are more dismal for the cities with the largest populations of the poor, including the cities of Rochester, Yonkers, and Buffalo.

The adoption of college ready standards does not address the fact that many students are not in the college pipeline because they have limited and unequal access to college preparatory courses. The rigor of college preparatory curriculum and access to it...

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