A rising junior, she’d joined an elite group of students for a summer enrichment program on a prestigious college campus. They were preparing for Advanced Placement English in the fall. She thought she was ready, writes Brooke Haycock for Education Trust.
The teacher asked them to pull out the first book they’d be reading that fall in AP in their schools.
The private school students’ backpacks unfurled as they reached for their copies of The Odyssey and works by authors like Emerson and Goethe.
“And we pull out,” she paused for effect, “The Hunger Games.”
The girl was used to listening to a teacher lecture and reading the text.
“Everything in this summer program, like, every single class is conversation. And just constantly, as you read, as you discuss, you’re taking deep notes. You’re constantly taking notes and learning.”
. . . “In this summer program, we read only original authors. So you’re reading Lucretius, you’re reading, um, Aristotle. Those are the ones we read in our one week there. Um, Metamorphosis of Plants by Goethe. And, to me, it was just so crazy, like, how many of those kids knew those things already and had been exposed to them.”
“We’re going to be taking the same AP test,” the girl said. “The exact same test. We need to know the same exact things.”
This is the real inequity: High-aspiring, hard-working, capable students are set up to fail in college.