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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

Lowell High

1101 EUCALYPTUS DR., SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., 94132 | Grades 9-12

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers AP Courses
This School
2,590
216
10% N/A
District 52.2K 5,803 18% 8
State 5.34M 237,404 6% 11
 
State Average
 
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch

53%
56%

32%

Take at Least One AP Course

19%
23%

52%

AP Pass Rate

59%
80%

96%

Take Advanced Math

12%
48%

61%

Are in a Gifted/Talented Program

10%
21%

63%

Take Chemistry

16%
20%

24%

Take Physics

7%
18%

25%

Are

1%
0%

0% Am Indian
12%
51%

73% Asian
7%
11%

2% Black
52%
23%

7% Hispanic
26%
15%

17% White

Lowell High, part of the San Francisco Unified district, is located in San Francisco, California. The school reports enrolling 2,590 students in grades nine through 12, and it has 216 teachers on staff.

Lowell High is below both the state and district averages for the percentage of its students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. On average, 53 percent of students in California qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, whereas 32 percent of students at Lowell High are eligible. At the district level, 56 percent 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.

Lowell High enrolls 52 percent of its students in AP classes.

The school's pass rate for AP exams of 96 percent is higher than the district average of 80 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.

Lowell High has an enrollment rate of 61 percent for math classes, and 24 percent of students take chemistry. The enrollment rate for physics at the school is 25 percent, and the gifted and talented program has a participation rate of 63 percent.

Sequoia High School, in Merced, Calif., is a higher-poverty school than Lowell High, with 100 percent of its students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The school hasn't reported or may not offer AP classes.

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