Publication Date: March 12, 2021
This book walks readers through the stages of the high school college prep pipeline that introduces interlocked structural barriers to students. The author shows how these barriers reinforce segregated structures that unfairly distribute the public good of education to some students and not others. Price argues that the college prep pipeline of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate coursework in American high schools constitutes a new form of tracking in the 21st century. Even further, this new tracking introduces a façade of “college readiness” that veils the unequal learning opportunities that send some students out into the college world with pockets full of counterfeit credentials that serve only to reinforce the historically oppressive system. Whether intentional or not, this new form of tracking is embedded in schools across the United States and have lifetime consequences for individual students that reinforce historically racial, ethnic, and spatial inequalities.
Heather E. Price is assistant professor of leadership studies doctoral program with concurrent appointment in the Social, Behavioral, and Forensic Sciences department at Marian University.
"This book is a rigorous and engaging portrait of the architecture of opportunity in American schools. With a fine-grained analysis that never loses sight of the big picture, Heather Price reveals structural realities of college readiness in the United States that are ripe for change."
—Sean Kelly, University of Pittsburgh
“Never before has college access mattered more. In light of that reality, contemporary U.S. high schools have embraced the goal of providing all students with the opportunity to prepare for college. But as Heather Price demonstrates, they often lack the resources to meet that goal. The Fractured College Prep Pipeline succinctly describes the result: A system that perpetuates familiar inequalities, particularly in rural communities and communities of color.”
—Thurston Domina, professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill