Course Access

Across New York State, our education system denies students of color and students who are low-income access to rigorous instruction in a range of courses that will prepare them for success in college, careers, and civic life.

It doesn’t have to be this way. New York can and must do better.

Keep reading for the data, the stories, and the solutions.

An Agenda for Equity

In 2018-19, students who were low-income and students who were Latinx, Black, and American Indian were less likely than their non low-income and White peers to be enrolled in a range of gatekeeper and advanced courses in middle and high school.

Students who are low-income and Latinx, Black, and American Indian students are less likely to attend schools that offer these critical courses. And even when they do attend schools that offer the classes, students from historically under-served groups are less likely to be enrolled in them.

State leaders have taken important steps to improve equitable access to advanced coursework. New York must urgently build on that progress. We call on state leaders to enact specific policies to:


  • Improve access to advanced courses
  • Support students and parents
  • Eliminate barriers to enrollment
  • Eliminate enrollment disparities

Proficient and Passed Over

Even when students who are low-income; Latinx, Black, and American Indian students; current and former English Language Learners; students with disabilities; and students in temporary housing demonstrate that they are meeting the state’s academic standards by scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on their grade 7 state math assessment, they are less likely than their peers to be given the chance to take advanced math classes in grades 8 and 9.

A Statewide Challenge

School districts across New York State routinely deny historically under-served students access to the courses that will set them up for success in the future. See what the issue looks like statewide and in your region.

School Spotlights

Read how schools and districts across the state are working to ensure all students have equitable access to advanced courses.

Additional Resources

Learn more about this issue and find additional resources.