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Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education?

ProPublica analyzed federal education data from the 2009-2010 school year to examine whether states provide high-poverty schools equal access to advanced courses and special programs that researchers say will help them later in life. This is the first nationwide picture of exactly which courses are being taken at which schools and districts across the country. More than three-quarters of all public school children are represented. Read our story and our methodology.

Find a school

Long Reach High

6101 OLD DOBBIN LN, COLUMBIA, MD., 21045 | Grades 9-12

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers AP Courses
This School
1,200
95
13% 17
District 50.4K 3,705 12% 19
State 826K 56,262 11% 15
 
State Average
 
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch

34%
13%

19%

Take at Least One AP Course

23%
26%

18%

AP Pass Rate

60%
74%

65%

Take Advanced Math

17%
25%

21%

Are in a Gifted/Talented Program

25%
28%

34%

Take Chemistry

20%
20%

20%

Take Physics

12%
15%

14%

Participate in sports

38%
0.0%

50%

Are

0%
0%

1% Am Indian
6%
15%

11% Asian
37%
20%

30% Black
10%
8%

11% Hispanic
45%
50%

41% White

Long Reach High, part of the Howard County Public Schools district, is located in Columbia, Maryland. The school reports enrolling 1,200 students in grades nine through 12, and it has 95 teachers on staff.

Long Reach High is below the state average but above the district average in terms of the percentage of its students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. On average, 34 percent of students in Maryland are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch programs, whereas 19 percent of Long Reach High students are eligible. At the district level, 13 percent of students are eligible.

ProPublica's analysis found that all too often, states and schools provide poor students fewer educational programs like Advanced Placement, gifted and talented programs, and advanced math and science classes. Studies have linked participation in these programs with better outcomes later in life. Our analysis uses free and reduced-price lunch to estimate poverty at schools. We based our findings on the most comprehensive data set of access to advanced classes and special programs in U.S. public schools — known as the Civil Rights Data Set— released by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Long Reach High offers 17 AP courses, and 18 percent of students participate in those classes.

The school's pass rate for AP exams is 65 percent. This is lower than the district average of 74 percent.

A school's AP pass rate is determined by the number of students who both sat for AP exams and passed some or all of those exams.

Long Reach High's enrollment rates in chemistry, physics and advanced math subject areas are 20 percent, 14 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Gifted and talented at the school has an enrollment rate of 34 percent.

Vivien T Thomas Medical Arts Academy, in Baltimore, Md., is a higher-poverty school than Long Reach High, with 81 percent of its students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The school offers two AP courses, and 6 percent of students are enrolled in those courses.

These data points were reported by schools and districts to the Office for Civil Rights. For more information about the data, see our full methodology.

— Generated by Narrative Science