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By the time Elizabeth Valenzuela entered her senior year at Lynwood High School, she had taken seven Advanced Placement tests and earned potential college credit on five of them. It was an impressive accomplishment, made more impressive still by the fact that in her small school district she wasn’t one of a kind.
Increasing numbers of students from low-income Latino and black families are taking advanced courses and passing AP exams in Lynwood Unified School District, south of downtown Los Angeles.
To make this happen, the district of 15,000 students provided incentives and assistance and eliminated prerequisite courses and grade requirements that used to limit who enrolled.