ERIC Number: EJ981695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Hidalgo School District Supports All Students
Nodine, Thad R.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n7 p31-38 Mar 2012
In 2005, the Hildago (Texas) Independent School District, in partnership with the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas System, the Communities Foundation of Texas/Texas High School Project, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, promised that all of its students would earn college credits before graduating from high school. This commitment by a small district in South Texas could be seen as part of a nationwide pattern: many districts are engaged in high school reform efforts to improve the college readiness of students. Many also actively support dual enrollment in college classes. But Hidalgo appears to be the first comprehensive public school district in the United States to expect all students to earn college credits--including credits in career-focused college programs--while in high school. The district's efforts have transformed its elementary and middle schools as well as its high school. It has driven college expectations, more rigorous course sequencing, and student support systems into all schools, with the goal of preparing students and their families for college readiness by the time students reach high school. At the high school, the district increased the rigor of its courses and aligned them with college courses provided at the school and at partnering colleges. For students who may not want to obtain a four-year degree, the district created career pathways, with articulated courses that can lead to professional certificates at local community and technical colleges. The high school expanded and added support systems, including a summer session that prepares students for the Texas Higher Education Assessment (which determines if students are ready for college-level work) and a parental program that engages family and community stakeholders around developing college-ready students. Meanwhile, the district advanced the education of its teachers through incentives for gaining master's degrees and adjunct status from postsecondary partners.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Credits, Stakeholders, College Programs, School Districts, High Schools, Dual Enrollment, School Restructuring, Middle Schools, College School Cooperation, College Preparation, Public Schools, Educational Change, Expectation, High School Students, Transitional Programs, Faculty Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas