By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Walter Fields and his wife are proud of their daughter, a sophomore at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, a good math student – scoring proficiency on state tests and earning an A in 8th grade algebra. However, she wasn’t recommended for 9th grade geometry, a course that would keep her on track for Advanced Placement calculus her senior year.

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With a heavy sports schedule, she didn’t do as well in Algebra the next year and her teacher suggested she choose sports or math, telling her parents, she doesn’t “get it.”

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The Fields, well-educated African Americans, believe the school has hindered their daughter’s progress because of race and, with other parents, are preparing a lawsuit. Fifty six percent of Columbia’s students are black, yet only 14.4% took AP calculus.

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The Washington Post reports that some schools restrict AP access to show a high rate of success, while some good students in math, science and engineering are losing out.