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African American Adults Earn More after High School Math Requirements Increase, Study Shows

African-American-Adults-Earn-More-After-High-School-Math-Requirements-Increase-Study-Shows-2-21-17.jpgA recent study shows that African-American adults who took more math classes as part of revised high school graduation requirements earn greater incomes than those who took fewer math classes at the secondary level.
Joshua Goodman, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who completed the research, told The Atlantic that a roughly 3 percent rise in earnings for African-American adults who took more high school math is tied, at least in part, to the types of jobs those adults are able to get after high school.
“(The earnings increases are) partly explained by a shift toward more cognitively skilled occupations,” Goodman wrote in his research report, adding that, “Math coursework can impact earnings in economically meaningful ways.”
The research further affirms a key part of NMSI’s work – preparing more students for college and STEM-intensive jobs through rigorous coursework taught by highly trained educators who have exceptional support and resources.
And while Goodman’s research didn’t find similar earnings increases for Anglo students (he limited the research to African-American and Anglo students) other studies affirm that challenging coursework, great teachers and advanced resources and support contribute significantly to all students’ abilities to complete college and successfully move into today’s workforce.
NMSI’s College Readiness Program has been proven to expand access and achievement in Advanced Placement® courses in math, science and English. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of qualifying AP exam scores1 [1] earned by students at NMSI partner schools grew an average of 67 percent after the first year in the three-year program. That’s 10 times the average national growth in qualifying scores.
For African-American and Hispanic students, the increase in the number of those qualifying AP exam scores after one year of CRP support was 83 percent.
NMSI accomplishes these types of results by giving teachers resources and instructional techniques that are proven to engage and prepare students. Students in CRP also get expert-led student study sessions, as well as the classroom and lab equipment needed to bring their work to life.
NMSI focuses on AP courses because research shows that students who are successful in these challenging courses are more likely to complete college on time. And those who don’t pursue a college education leave high school with college-level experience in problem solving and critical thinking – skills that are necessary no matter what their chosen career path.
Parents and students should talk with their campus leaders to explore AP opportunities and to find out whether their schools participate in NMSI’s programs. School officials can contact NMSI for more information.
Juan is the communications director for the National Math and Science Initiative.