ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

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.

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Challenge Early College High School

5601 W LOOP S, HOUSTON, TEXAS, 77081 | Grades 9-12

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers AP Courses
This School
445
20
10% 8
District 193K 11,919 18% 11
State 4.01M 269,017 14% 15
 
State Average
 
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch

48%
63%

54%

Take at Least One AP Course

20%
21%

16%

Take Advanced Math

10%
9%

6%

Are in a Gifted/Talented Program

8%
14%

31%

Take Chemistry

26%
25%

28%

Take Physics

14%
7%

21%

Participate in sports

32%
0.0%

6%

Are

0%
0%

0% Am Indian
4%
3%

3% Asian
15%
26%

19% Black
50%
62%

61% Hispanic
29%
8%

15% White

Challenge Early College High School, part of the Houston ISD, is located in Houston, Texas. The school reports enrolling 445 students in grades nine through 12, and it has 20 teachers on staff.

Challenge Early College High School is above the state average but below the district average in terms of the percentage of its students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. On average, 48 percent of students in Texas qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs, whereas 54 percent of Challenge Early College High School students do. At the district level, 63 percent of students qualify.

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.

Challenge Early College High School offers eight AP courses, and 16 percent of students participate in those classes.

Challenge Early College High School has an enrollment rate of 6 percent for math classes, and 28 percent of students take chemistry. The enrollment rate for physics at the school is 21 percent, and the gifted and talented program has a participation rate of 31 percent.

Highland Park High School, a lower-poverty school than Challenge Early College High School, does not have any students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The school enrolls 56 percent of its students in AP classes. It is located in Dallas, Texas.

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