The role of STEM high schools in reducing gaps in science and mathematics coursetaking: Evidence from North Carolina
Some states have created science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools to encourage student interest and enhance student proficiency in STEM subjects. We examined a set of STEM schools serving disadvantaged students to see whether these students were more likely to take and pass advanced science and mathematics classes than their peers in traditional schools. Although some gaps in STEM coursetaking persist, economically disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students in STEM schools are more likely to take and pass these classes than their peers in non-STEM schools. Compared with non-STEM schools, the STEM schools have smaller gaps in advanced science and mathematics coursetaking and passing between disadvantaged and nondisadvantaged students.