The renowned psychologist Albert Bandura writes that a "strong sense of efficacy enhances human accomplishment and personal well-being in many ways," adding that individuals who have strong self-efficacy, or a "high assurance in their capabilities" confront difficult tasks not as "threats to be avoided," but as "challenges to be mastered."
Jeremy Donaldson, a 2010 graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, can still recall leaving high school only to be told by college officials that he'd have to pay to take a remedial course in math that would not count toward college credit. Donaldson spent a year at Triton College, where he didn't take a math course, before enrolling at Bethune Cookman College in Florida, where he was told he'd have to play catchup.
Over the last three years at Oak Park and River Forest High School, the number of African American students in advanced placement, or AP, courses has spiked. In 2016 and 2017 there were fewer than 70 black students in AP courses. In 2018 the total was 100 — a 33 percent increase.