Apr 28, 2013

What Have You Heard About Early College High Schools?

Ok, I just set a goal regarding blog posts, made it public, and failed.  That's very unlikely me, but true....between state testing, catching the flu, and just generally being overwhelmed it didn't happen.  I am revising my goal to 2-3 blog posts per week.  They will cover the topics I mentioned before, but may not always be on those days.

Have you heard of Early College High School?  One opened in my area a few years ago (3, I believe).

I had heard a few good things about it, and a few good news stories, but not a lot.

I applied for transfer this year and was lucky enough to be offered a position there for next year.  I am currently teaching middle school in (based on test scores, for whatever that's worth), one of the worst schools in the state. I have learned a lot, but would like to go back to high school and go somewhere with a little more support/positivism/motivation, etc.  In the interview and job search process, I learned more about these Early College High Schools.  Its a very intriguing concept, I think.  I would like to share some of what I learned with you, and see what you think.



Here is a link to a news article about Early College High Schools

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/education/edlife/bard-high-school-early-college-a-second-chance-for-disadvantaged-youth-in-newark.html

And here is a link to a website about Early College High Schools in general.
http://www.earlycolleges.org/

Early College High Schools focus on taking students from urban districts, disadvantaged students, and not always high achieving and putting them on a path to college.  Students at these schools may not be high achieving, but they choose to be there, and have higher aspirations.  Students are put on track to take college classes before they graduate from high school, so they graduate high school with college credits.  They are challenged in a more stable/secure environment, and allow students to enter college more prepared for success.  They build local partnerships with colleges, do a lot of college visits, and get kids onto college campuses from a young age.

I am very excited to be at a place where kids choose to be there, and where they are held to high expectations.

Some people say that Early College high schools are not all that they are cracked up to be....that you are not giving kids enough foundation, and taking struggling students and putting them up to higher expectations that they are not ready for.

Maybe its a different measure of success (http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-10-27/news/for-the-early-college-high-school-initiative-success-is-more-than-just-a-high-school-diploma/)?  If so, that's still better than many of our local schools are doing.

Do you have any experience with early college high schools?  What do you think of the concept?


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