Inequitable Opportunities: How Current Education Systems and Policies Undermine the Chances for Student Persistence and Success in College

By Andrea VeneziaMichael Kirst
Educational Policy
May2005 Vol. 19 Issue 2 Pages 283-307.

America’s high school students have higher educational aspirations than ever before, yet these aspirations are being undermined by disconnected educational systems and other barriers. These educational aspirations cut across racial and ethnic lines with scant differences. As this study demonstrates, access to college-preparation-related policy information, however, follows racial, ethnic, income, and curricular tracking lines. This article presents findings from Stanford University’s Bridge Project—a national study that examined (a) K-16 policies and practices and (b) student, parent, teacher, counselor, and administrator understandings of those policies and practices in regions in California, Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Oregon, and Texas. In addition, it proposes recommendations for K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions, state agencies, and the federal government.