Los Angeles magnet shool shows off successful STEM and AP program

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(LACES students)
(LACES students)
The Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) is a prestigious magnet school focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematic curricula (STEM), and is breaking the mold for lower-income, minority students. 

Studies show that STEM courses give high school students access to better colleges and higher-paying jobs, but minority students don't have as many STEM opportunities. White, middle-income students are also twice as likely to go to a school with a full array of AP courses versus lower-income, minority students.

That's where LACES comes in.

Most of it's 1,600 students have above a 3.5 GPA and over 85 percent get into successful four-year universities. That's why a group of education experts and officials from Los Angeles, California and the nation took a tour of the large campus Thursday morning.

The public school offers 27 out of the College Board's 34 approved Advanced Placement classes, which help high schoolers get college credit. Over 70 percent of the high school's 912 students take one or more AP classes, and education officials say this model should be replicated across the state.

LACES is rigorous and expects a lot from its students. But Principal Harold Boger says if you expect a lot from students early on, they adapt and rise to the occasion. Most of the students are Asian, Hispanic and African American, and more than half are on the district's free lunch program and are English learners. Most students are bussed in from lower-income areas.

Unfortunately, LACES has a long waiting list, highlighting the fact that L.A. Unified needs more public schools entrenched in advanced, STEM bases curricula.