A lack of diversity in AP classes is an issue facing many schools around the country, but it is a prominent one at East Forsyth High School. However, fixing it will be difficult, and it’s something that nobody is completely sure how to do.
The extremely atypical statistics of East Forsyth have been a topic for discussion recently, sparking several conversations across campus about diversity in AP classes. Some classes, including Mrs. Wallace’s Teacher Cadet class, have held discussions regarding diversity.
Ms. Wiles, who teaches English, read the article — and so did many of her students. She said it was the “most talked about article ever” by students. Prior to the publication of the article, she talked about it in a faculty meeting as well. She called it “eye-opening” and “something that needed to be said”. Like most people, Wiles said she doesn’t know how to fix it, but that it is something that needs to be done.
Alexandra Scott (’17) said that while the numbers about students taking AP classes are interesting, it’s not a big problem. “Every student has an equal opportunity to take those classes,” she said. On the subject of fixing the lack of representation, she said that “there isn’t very much we can do.”
When Mr. Bass looked over the numbers, he said they were “concerning.” He was previously at North Forsyth High School, where the population is much smaller and the racial breakup is different. At East, he wants to “push students to take APs” as he did at North.
There are several reasons for why students wouldn’t want to take an AP class, said Mr. Bass. Some people hear “horror stories” about the workload in AP classes. Others don’t realize the benefits that AP classes have in the long run — namely, financial benefits and credits in college. There are intelligent and advanced students who belong in AP classes, but take honors or regular classes instead.
Less than 100 of the students taking AP classes are not white, while nearly 500 are. That is a big problem — and while it may take time and effort to fix it, it definitely cannot be ignored.