This brief explains how Texas can implement a college-ready curriculum for all students, while preparing them for careers with advancement prospects and future academic success in two-year, four-year, and technical colleges. It shows how the state can endorse career and technical education for high school students without embracing a two-tiered diploma system that sets lower expectations for one group of students and college-ready expectations for others. To do so, it describes the educational model of Hidalgo Early College High School, a promising and potentially replicable example of how it is possible to wed the goals of college readiness with high-quality career and technical education.
This school’s adoption of an early college design in 2006, through the Texas High School Project, accelerated a more-than-decade-long effort by Hidalgo ISD to promote college and career readiness. JFF prepared this issue brief for the Communities Foundation of Texas, which manages the Texas High School Project’s philanthropic investments. Texas High School Project executive director John Fitzpatrick testified before the Texas Senate and House committees on education regarding SB3/HB3 and submitted this brief as written testimony.