A few weeks ago, I created a list of the most diverse schools in Los Angeles. Of the top twenty schools, only two were high schools: Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) and Granada Hills Charter High School. Around the same time, I also calculated the UC acceptance rates for LA High schools. LACES was tied for the highest acceptance rate, and Granada Hills was in the top 25.
It almost seemed like their diversity might be helping their UC acceptance rate. Upon closer inspection, however, the data is much more complicated. Let’s start by thinking about whether the different ethnic groups are even applying at the same rates. Below I have analyzed the percent of each group that applies to UCs.
I found this a bit surprising and a bit uplifting. At both schools, African American students are clearly being encouraged to apply to UCs, and they apply at the highest rates for both schools. A little distressing is how few Latinos apply. And we shouldn’t be surprised when the acceptance data reflects the applications:
Latino students have the lowest percent of seniors students accepted at both schools. Meanwhile, African American students are getting accepted at the similar or higher rates than their white peers. Asian students are also accepted at the highest rates that both schools – at LACES at a rate of 59% which is 20% higher than the school’s overall acceptance rate.
I think this data show that the schools are making strides toward equity, but still have a ways to go. While they both seem to be actively encouraging African American students to apply, and they have narrowed the achievement gap there (a very impressive feat), a gap remains with their Latino populations.
Diversity alone does not support your school’s success rate – it takes active work by the school staff to make sure that applications are equitable, so that acceptances can be too.