Lack of Latinos in AP classes stems from school and home

One out of 34 AP Statistics students are Latino. An estimated 10.5 percent of all AP students at San Marin are Latino, compared to 28.2 percent of all of San Marin’s students, so there is a significant disparity between Latino students who take AP classes and those who don’t.

Sophomore Ismael Resendiz said there are two reasons for that disparity: that Latino students aren’t pushed hard enough and our school doesn’t provide enough information to Latino parents.

“Latinos aren’t pushed hard enough by their parents.” said junior Miguel Caro del Castillo.

Math teacher David Blair said that in the community, white parents are very involved in their child’s education, but Latino parents generally aren’t as involved.

Caro del Castillo said sometimes it feels as if his parents don’t care about education. He also said that feeling stems from his parents having not been provided with enough resources to understand what AP classes can do.

“Most of  us aren’t socially accepted in AP classes, and Latinos think that lack of acceptance outweighs the value of education,” Resendiz said.

According to Resendiz, there is a social stigma around AP classes and a stereotype in place that makes Latinos not pursue higher levels of education. He said more of his friends would be in AP classes if there wasn’t this stereotype.

“A lot of my friends don’t care about a normal class, so why would they care about an AP class?” sophomore Nick Espinal said.

Espinal said that most of his AP class is white and that’s something his Latino counterparts aren’t used to.

“There should be meetings for Latino parents who don’t know what AP is,” senior Citlalli Gonzalez said.  Gonzalez said she has never received any flyers for AP or heard about any meetings that were in Spanish. She said the lack of information contributed to the lack of Latino students in AP Classes.

“There should not be a disparity between the percentage of Latino students at school and the percentage of Latino students in AP classes.

“We are working on ways to change it,” Assistant Principal Diane Santamorena said.

While Latino students don’t receive much support at home, they still can be successful students.

AP Government teacher Michael Spinrad said his best student was Latino. He said Latino students have the ability to succeed in an AP class, but they aren’t being pushed enough.