The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

Graduation is a bittersweet moment for many seniors. Many grads feel like they are losing their childhood and leaving meaningful connections behind. But, the silver-lining is the growth and experience that lie ahead of you.
Opinion: Embrace Change
Aubrey Lacavich, Sports Editor • May 8, 2024

My entire life will change in a week, and so will the lives of the 575 other seniors I’ve gone to school with for the past four years.  I’ve...

Many teachers use surveys such as the one pictured at the start of a course so they know students preferred pronouns. A proposed Missouri bill would make it a felony for teachers to support students in social transitioning, including the use of pronouns other than the students assigned pronoun at birth.
Staff Shouldn't Be Punished for Supporting Students
Editorial BoardApril 15, 2024

A Missouri bill was introduced to the House Thursday, March 29, that could charge teachers and counselors who support students' social transitions...

Earlier this month, Taylor Swift took her jet from the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield to the St. Louis Airport in Cahokia Heights, taking 13 minutes, 2 tons of carbon emissions and $844 worth of fuel.
Opinion:Taylor Swift Causes Needless Carbon Emissions
Aubrey Lacavich, Sports Editor • April 5, 2024

Eight hundred and twenty two celebrities flew into Las Vegas mid-February for the Super Bowl LVIII in their private jets. Among them was pop-star...

This comparison photo shows the hallway seating (left) verses the standard lockers (right). The expanded seating has outlets and USB plugs for charging.
Opinion: Remove the Lockers
Elliott Jorgensen, Associate Producer • March 14, 2024

In a school of more than 2,000 students, MHS students are rarely seen loitering around their lockers. This raises the question: does anyone use...

Most students have very busy schedules which can make time management a big struggle. By keeping a planner it can make it easier to visualize your tasks and can help in remembering what you need to get done.
Opinion: Students Should have Part Time Jobs
Morgan Siegel, Staff Reporter • March 4, 2024

As job openings increase, so does the need for employees. With total payroll employment rising from January 2023 to January 2024 by 42,100 jobs,...

Opinion: Racial Bias Affects Academic Performance

Media by Elliott Jorgensen
Black students face a major achievement gap in regard to advanced placement courses, as a result of racial biases and curriculum-based limitations that negatively impact their academic performance.

I remember the day I decided to look around at MHS. I noticed that in all of my higher-level honors and AP classes, very few people looked like me. Very few people shared my background. Very few people were Black.

And as of now, this has not changed.

Black students seeming less likely to take more rigorous classes is hardly a new issue, nor is it specific to MHS. According to a 2020 study by the Education Trust, despite Black students making up 15% of high schoolers nationwide, only 9% are enrolled in AP courses.

However, the achievement gap facing Black students regarding AP courses should not be taken as an indication that they are inherently unable to succeed.

Factors such as implicit biases and stereotypes can have a significant impact on the performance of Black students in school. According to the article “Why AP Classes Lack Diversity — and Why We Need to Change This,” Black and Hispanic students often face barriers such as resource inequalities, biases among educators, and a lack of diverse educators that dissuade them from taking Advanced Placement courses.

Educator bias, in particular, is one of the most significant barriers. The article “The Truth Behind the Racial Gap in Advanced Placement Courses” reports that “educators tend to recommend these courses to [white students] more often” and “bias is generated by the fact that there is a lack of diversity among educators.”

Furthermore, educators who are not Black would naturally have more difficulty relating to or properly understanding the experiences of Black students. MHS, in particular, has very few Black staff members and no Black teachers, which could result in Black students feeling like they are misunderstood or have few adults to trust.

To close the gap between Black students and their counterparts, we must begin properly acknowledging and fighting against the systemic and curriculum-based factors that negatively influence their performance, rather than continue to believe in harmful stereotypes against them.

Some ways to solve the issue include the district hiring more qualified Black teachers, ideally to teach AP classes, which would attract a stronger Black student population to enroll in those courses and create a more culturally sensitive environment.

Furthermore, requirements specific to AP courses such as zero hours could be changed to better accommodate Black students who live further from the school.

We must also understand that AP courses are not an inherent measure of a student’s intelligence. By recognizing this, we could also halt the stigmatizing of Black students who are not in the AP program.

The biggest solution, however, is understanding that racism in education is still a significant issue, even if it isn’t as explicit as the de jure segregation of the past. We must help people examine their own biases and recognize how they create an environment that limits Black students’ ability to succeed.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Marquette Messenger
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marquette High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs. You may become a PATRON by making a donation at one of these levels: White/$30, Green/$50, Blue/$100. Patron names will be published in the print newsmagazine, on the website and once per quarter on our social media accounts.

About the Contributors
Justin Small
Justin Small, In-Depth Editor
Justin Small, junior, is the In-Depth Editor for the Marquette Messenger. This will be his second year on staff. He is a part of the Marquette Academic and Cultural Club and participates in track and field in the spring.
Elliott Jorgensen
Elliott Jorgensen, Associate Producer/Production Editor
Elliott Jorgensen, class of 2024, is the Associate Producer for MHSNews and Production Editor for The Messenger. He enjoys going to theme parks, going on bike rides, and creating video content. He is the publicity lead for the Marquette Theatre Company and participates in Politics Club and Girls United. Elliott plans to attend the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri Columbia.
Donate to Marquette Messenger
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Marquette Messenger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *