Over the next three years, 100,000 students who would otherwise be overlooked for reasons related to income or race will be identified and enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses across the country. Led by Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS), this will be the largest and most-targeted effort ever to find capable students “missing” from advanced courses.
“An initiative of this magnitude will show on a national scale that high-ability, low-income students not only can succeed in advanced academics when given access, they will succeed,” says Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy.
This new $100 million initiative includes partners such as the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, College Board, Tableau Software, Inc., and the International Baccalaureate Organization and has the support of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
In the six years since its inception, EOS has supported over 10,000 students in AP/IB courses and is on track to double that number this school year. Over 75 percent of schools partnering with EOS have maintained exam success rates in AP/IB after the inclusion of missing students. In one San Jose high school supported by the Cooke Foundation, the number of students passing an AP exam tripled in one year from 70 to 223.
With this newly launched initiative, EOS will build the organizational capacity of 750 schools over the next three years to identify and service 100,000 low-income students and students of color and influence long-term outcomes such as college going, persistence, and completion.
The Cooke Foundation’s contribution will also allow EOS to develop a series of case studies and best practices that will be published as a book on the Excellence Gap, convene regional meetings, and organize at least one national gathering of educators. EOS will also appoint a Cooke Superintendent-in-Residence to speak to superintendents around the U.S. about what can be achieved when they tap into the potential of low-income students.
“We know how to reach the students who are missing these opportunities, and we know they are eager for academic challenges,” said Reid Saaris, president and CEO of Equal Opportunity Schools. “Our national conversation is moving away from a focus on student deficits towards school leaders who see strength in previously-under-served students and are ready to move their teams towards a higher sense of what’s possible.”