chapter  4
32 Pages

ACADEMIC PREPARATION

Th e ability of students to enroll in college preparatory courses is generally viewed as a right in middle-class families, but this is not the case for low-income families (Brantlinger, 1994; Oakes, 2008; Wooden, 2007). Easing concerns about college costs can empower students and their families to consider college as a realistic option, but it is also necessary to have access to advanced courses in high school. Not all families who were awarded Washington State Achievers (WSA) scholarships or who took the pledge for Twenty-fi rst Century Scholars (TFCS) were able to acquire preparatory courses, but as the studies in this chapter reveal, a larger number of these early-aid recipients acquired advanced preparation than did their low-income peers. An investigation into how this prima facie measure of success came about is warranted. Th is chapter undertakes the diffi cult task of untangling the eff ects of school reform and student choice on access to advanced courses.