By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In 1967, at Garfield High School in Los Angeles, two teachers set a precedent, producing 26% of all the Mexican-American students nationally who passed the Advanced Placement (AP) test in calculus, showing that low income students with time and encouragement can succeed.

In December 2011, Congress reduced funds for the AP test fees for low-income students, cutting funds from $43 million to $27 million, although as Jay Mathews, in his Washington Post column, reports on data showing that $87 for taking a three hour test is one of the most cost-effective ways to prepare for college.

The tests are rigorous, motivating to teachers and kids and are graded by outside experts.

Mathews, using data from the College Board, reports that last year more than 375,000 low income kids took more than 615,000 AP exams, 23% of the total tests taken.

The title of his article says it all, “Denying Poor A Challenge.”