Enabling & Supportive Legislation

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1 Enabling & Supportive Legislation Guidance for Early College High Schools Page 1

2 Origins of Early College High School...3 Enabling Legislation...6 Commissioner s Rules...6 Supportive Legislation...7 ECHS Policy Timeline, 2003 Present...4 TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 2

3 Origins of Early College High School The ECHS model was developed by the Gates Foundation in 2002 It is based on dropout prevention research and expanded from the middle college high school concept. There are Early Colleges in 24 states and Texas is a national leader in developing and implementing Early College High Schools The first ECHS opened in Texas in 2003 Challenge ECHS in Houston The first major ECHS cohort began in 2006 and graduated in May students graduated from 11 Early Colleges. TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 3

4 ECHS Policy Timeline, 2003 Present th Texas Legislature HB 415 allows both high schools and colleges to receive funding for teaching dual credit. This policy supports the role of both high schools and colleges in providing dual credit opportunities to students while serving as an incentive to build dual credit relationships. SB 976 establishes the Middle College Education Pilot to enable students who are at risk of dropping out of school or who wish to accelerate high school completion to take combination high school and college level courses during grades 11 and 12 in order to complete high school with a high school diploma and a college associate degree. 2005/ th Texas Legislature SB 1146 (2005) amends earlier legislation creating the Middle College Education Pilot (SB 976) by establishing the Early College High School (ECHS) program, an innovative school model targeting atrisk students who would not otherwise consider attending college and students who wish to accelerate. This model provides these students with an opportunity to take courses, beginning at grade 9, which allow them to receive high school and college credit simultaneously in order to earn a diploma and an associate degree or up to 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree by the time they graduate from high school. This legislation gave the Commissioners authority to write rules to administer the program. HB 1 (2006) establishes the College Credit Program requiring all districts by the school year to offer students an opportunity to earn a minimum of 12 college credit hours through AP, IB, and dual credit courses. HB 1 calls for development of College and Career Readiness Standards designed to specify what students must know and be able to do to succeed in entry level college courses. These standards have guided the development of instructional materials, online support materials, and teacher professional development. HB 1 requires students to complete a four by four curriculum, consisting of four years each of English, mathematics, science, and social studies, in order to graduate under the Recommended or Advanced high school programs. To ensure that the high school curriculum contains the rigor necessary to prepare students for college, HB 1 also calls for the State Board of Education to incorporate the College Readiness Standards into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). HB 1 enables districts to employ an Optional Flexible School Day so that districts will have additional flexibility in scheduling students who are dropouts, are at risk of not graduating or who participate in an early college or innovative school. TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 4

5 HB 1 establishes the High School Allotment, which provides each district an allotment based on $275 per student in grades 9 12 to support initiatives in grades 6 12, to administer a college readiness program that provides academic support for underachieving students for entrance into an institution of higher education and provides opportunities for all students to take academically rigorous coursework. TEA, beginning with the Academic Excellence Indicator System report, restructures the performance section of the report to include College Readiness Indicators. Reported college readiness indicators include advanced course/dual enrollment completion, graduation on the Recommended High School Program or Distinguished Achievement Program, AP/IB results, TAKS scores meeting the Higher Education Readiness Component standard, and SAT/ACT results th Texas Legislature SB 1788 establishes the Texas Virtual School Network that provides online high school and dual credit courses for students. Texas Education Agency (TEA, 2008) establishes the ECHS Designation Process to maintain the integrity of the ECHS model and to provide an annual opportunity for districts to join the ECHS network th Texas Legislature General Appropriations Act (GAA), Article III, Rider 42(j), Student Success Initiative provides funds for the College Preparation Assessments Program, established in 2007 (SB 1031), by authorizing the state to pay for nationally recognized college readiness assessments for students in 8 th grade to diagnose academic strengths and deficiencies before entering high school, for students in 10 th grade to determine readiness for college and the workplace, and for students in 11 th and 12 th grade to take a college entrance exam for admission to college. HB 2480 enables a community college to enter into an agreement with a school district that is outside of its service area. This is permitted only if the assigned community college cannot satisfactorily deliver a particular course. TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 5

6 Enabling Legislation Texas Education Agency State law that enables the Commissioner to establish, adopt rules, and administer an Early College Education Program. Texas Education Code Chapter 29 Educational Programs Subchapter Z. Miscellaneous Programs , Early College Education Program Link: Commissioner s Rules Texas Education Agency commissioner's rules that define Early College High School and detail the designation process for Early College High Schools. Part II, Texas Education Agency Chapter 102. Educational Programs Subchapter GG. Commissioner s Rules Concerning Early College Education Program Link: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board commissioner s rules in that provide oversight for public colleges or universities to engage in early college high schools or middle colleges. Part I. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Chapter 4. Rules Applying to All Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas Subchapter G. Early College High Schools and Middle Colleges Link: TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 6

7 Supportive Legislation High School Allotment: An allotment of $275 per high school student allocated to districts to prepare students to go on to higher education, encourage students to take advanced academic course work, increase the rigor of academic course work, align secondary and postsecondary curriculum and support promising high school completion and success initiatives in grades 6 though 12. The Commissioner of education rules define the High School Allotment and detail allowable uses. Part II, Texas Education Agency Chapter 61. School Districts Subchapter II. Commissioner's Rules Concerning High School Allotment Link: Optional Flexible School Day: a program approved by the commissioner of education to provide flexible hours and days of attendance for students in grades The program is available to the following constituencies: students who are at risk of not graduating; students participating in an approved early college high school plan; or students attending a campus implementing an innovative redesign under a plan approved by the commissioner of education. The program is designed to enable districts and campuses to serve these students during non traditional hours, days of the week, or locations within the district. Part II, Texas Education Agency Chapter 129. Student Attendance Subchapter AA. Commissioner's Rules , Optional Flexible School Day Link: Link: TEA Application for Early College High School Designation Page 7

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