Focusing on AP at OPRF

Opinion: Editorials

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It is good news that the number of African-American and other minority students at Oak Park and River Forest High School taking Advanced Placement courses is rising. But the really good news is the candor we're hearing from multiple school administrators who, in plain talk, acknowledge that the increases are not enough.

So far, despite the hikes, the number of black students enrolled in AP classes does not match the overall black student population. More progress is necessary.

In interviews last week, two top school officials — one who leads the counseling team, the other the head of curriculum — said straight up that the school has to do better in enrolling minority students in those classes. The school, they said, has to set higher expectations internally that counselors and teachers will push, demand and cajole black students into AP classes.

With the school taking that position, we'll go the other way and say that black parents and black students need to step way up and raise the expectations that young black men and women at the high school will enroll in AP classes, work like hell and enjoy the view from the top of the rock.

All the stakeholders in this drama have critical roles. We're impressed and delighted that school officials are determined to further improve their side of the equation. We're confident that , with the school's encouragement and an occasional kick in the fanny, minority students and families will rise up to meet the expectations.

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