Los Angeles magnet school shows off successful STEM and AP program

LACES-ARNThe Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, a prestigious magnet school focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematic curricula, is breaking the mold for lower-income, minority students.

Studies show that STEM courses give high school students access to better colleges and higher-paying jobs, but minority students don’t have as many opportunities to pursue STEM topics. Meanwhile, white, middle-income students are twice as likely to go to a school with a full array of AP courses versus lower-income, minority students.

That’s where LACES comes in.

Learn more in a story from Annenberg Radio News:

Most of its 1,600 students have above a 3.5 GPA and over 85 percent are accepted into successful four-year universities.

The public school offers 27 out of the College Board’s 34 approved Advanced Placement classes, which help high schoolers get college credit. Over 70 percent of the high school’s 912 students take one or more AP classes, and education officials say this model should be replicated across the state.

LACES is rigorous and expects a lot from its students. But Principal Harold Boger says if you expect a lot from students early on, they adapt and rise to the occasion. Most of the students are Asian, Hispanic and African American, and more than half are on the district’s free lunch program and are English learners. Most students are bussed in from lower-income areas.

Unfortunately, LACES has a long waiting list. Some say this highlights the lack of schools entrenched in advanced, STEM bases curricula in L.A.’s public schools.

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