See how your school stacks up based on new data | The Chalkboard | The Salt Lake Tribune
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The Chalkboard
Lisa Schencker
Lisa Schencker has covered K-12 education for The Salt Lake Tribune since 2007. Before that, she covered education in California and communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As an education reporter, she visits classrooms and talks with teachers, parents, kids and policymakers.

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See how your school stacks up based on new data

The U.S. Department of Education released new data today as part of the Civil Rights Data Collection on resources and opportunities for students in 72,000 schools across the nation. You can see how many kids at a school took Advanced Placement classes, how many took Algebra 1 and geometery, calculus, physics, etc. — and all by ethnicity. Not all Utah schools are included, but many are, as are the districts.

You can go here to search for your school or district (tip: I've done a few searches, and I find the fewer terms you put in the better. For example, if you're searching for a district, instead of putting in the name of the district, just leave everything blank except for the state field, and most of the districts will come up in results).

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Also ProPublica did an analysis of the data, to look at each state's "opportunity gap," or students' abilities to take high level courses. According to the chart, it looks like Utah is doing better than many states overall when it comes to students at high poverty schools and wealthier schools having equal access to high level classes.

And here are some findings from across the nation, based on that data, according to the U.S. Department of Education, based on the 7,000 sampled school districts:

• 3,000 schools serving nearly 500,000 high school students offer no algebra II classes, and more than 2 million students in about 7,300 schools had no access to calculus classes.

• Schools serving mostly African-American students are twice as likely to have teachers with one or two years of experience than are schools within the same district that serve mostly white students.

• Only 2 percent of the students with disabilities are taking at least one Advanced Placement class.

• Students with limited English proficiency make up 6 percent of the high school population (in grades 9–12), but are 15 percent of the students for whom algebra is the highest-level math course taken by the final year of their high school career.

• Only 22 percent of local education agencies (LEAs) reported that they operated pre-K programs targeting children from low-income families.

• Girls are underrepresented in physics, while boys are underrepresented in algebra II.

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