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MADISON, Wis. – The Madison School District is always looking for ways to close the achievement gap, but new data shows they’re lagging when it comes to making sure all their students are ready for college.

Right now, the district offers dozens of Advanced Placement classes, which allow students to earn college credit while still in high school.

Data presented to the MMSD school board at its most recent meeting shows more than half of the students in AP classes are white. Of the 2,976 students enrolled in advanced courses during the 2018-19 school year, only 11% were black, and 18% were Latinx. The district as a whole was made up of 18% black students and 22% Latinx students.

Those numbers are disproportionate to the demographics of the student body as a whole.

We asked Cynthia Green, the executive director of Secondary Programs and Pathways at MMSD about this. She said they’re trying to use faculty as a way to fix the problem.

In a statement, Green said, “They’re working with an equity partner called ‘Equal Opportunity Schools’ to help address this and provide professional learning for high school staff to better understand which students aren’t being served, which barriers might be in the way, and which outreach strategies they can use.”

The district said they’re also working with parents to show them the benefits of enrolling their kids in Advanced Placement courses.