Dual language bilingual education (DLBE) is a unique form of bilingual education that has the potential to preserve and develop the heritage languages of emergent bilinguals, foster high levels of bilingualism, and address academic disparities, thereby changing emergent bilinguals' educational conditions and learning outcomes. Yet, DLBE schools and programs are nested within a broader sociopolitical context which may attenuate the benefits of DLBE. To address the construction of DLBE as a panacea for equity, this study examines a cohort of emergent bilinguals' academic achievement, middle school course placements, and course grades across 6 school years. The conceptual lens of equity traps is employed to demonstrate how equity is metaphorically trapped within the institutional constraints of schools, specifically master schedules that have courses that range from remedial to advanced. Findings demonstrate that emergent bilinguals in DLBE programs have higher achievement in English language arts (ELA) and math over emergent bilinguals in English as a second language programs. However, emergent bilinguals in DLBE programs also are shielded from advanced‐level electives, reducing future opportunities to learn math and science in high school, demonstrating a unique form of exclusionary tracking. The authors propose a structural matrix that stakeholders can use to examine the equity constraints of DLBE. Copyright © 2020 TESOL International Association.