July 4th, 2012

WATCH: Early College HS In South Texas

In the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district in South Texas, Superintendent Daniel King is turning his district around. Just five years ago, almost half of the students were dropping out of high school. Today, students are not only staying in school — but many are graduating with college credits and some are even earning their two-year Associates degrees. The strategy — making education more challenging and interesting — seems to be working.

The segment above is in two parts; you can watch both parts by clicking “play.” You can also watch each part individually below.

Part 1 (watch that part here) deals with some of the challenges that Superintendent King faced upon taking over the district, and the solutions he and his team crafted.

Part 2 (watch that part here) deals with the successes of the model, as well as addressing how replicable it is elsewhere.

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


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PharrJohn Merrow and Daniel King

Hear the entire interview between Merrow and Dr. Daniel King. Listen and join the discussion!


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4 comments

Larry Cremin (at Teachers College) liked to cite how America got 8 grades: the contractor building the Quincy School, America’s first graded school in 1847, thought the site could support 8 rooms. The entire structure of 12 grades has no more foundation than the first builder’s site diagram. Therefore it’s astounding to think that an Early College High School is an innovation. Kids - people - learn what they need when they need to.

What is happening in PSJA is awesome…things are getting better..Thank You Dr.King

While these programs are eye-catching, they are no panacea and in fact, university faculty are quite vocal about the downsides of such opportunities. http://www.valleymorningstar.com/articles/college-97929-credit-school.html
I would have expected a much more balanced report from PBS and am disappointed at the lack of investigative reporting on the subject.

In High School, Career and Technical Education (CTE) sequence of courses are required to be articulated with post-secondary courses. Both credit and a continuity of curriculum provides students with challenging experience, career plan, and work-place skills- a more comprehensive approach then just providing college credits for a few introductory courses. This program in Texas is selling a dream that will lead to failure by two years after high school. Kids will have a few credits and no career focus to succeed. CTE leads to life-long careers. CTE is around for the last twenty-five years and in every State, supported by federal grant. My advice: introduce 8-10 CTE programs organized around career pathways in this high school to provide interesting curriculum that complement the high school curriculum and is a bridge to post-secondary opportunities in traditional college and community college or certificate schools.




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