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Two PAC ECHS partners…

Two of Palo Alto College’s Early College High School (ECHS) partners were recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best High School rankings. Each earned a bronze recognition, putting them in the top 21% of more than 28,000 high schools evaluated nationwide.
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Two PAC ECHS partners earn national accolade

Two of Palo Alto College’s Early College High School (ECHS) partners were recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best High School rankings. Each earned a bronze recognition, putting them in the top 21% of more than 28,000 high schools evaluated nationwide.

Both Frank L. Madla ECHS (New Frontier Charter School District) and S.T.E.M. ECHS (Harlandale ISD) have only been operating for three years and consider the recognition a significant achievement.

“It is great to have the U.S. News and World Report recognize the academic achievements of our students. The earning of a bronze medal is a direct result of the powerful partnership between Palo Alto College and New Frontiers Charter Schools,” said Jeffery Flores, principal of Frank L. Madla ECHS. “Our Madla students benefit greatly from being on the PAC campus. Our students know from day one that college is their new reality, and they step boldly in the greatness that is within them.”

U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings identify the country's top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest to lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.

In accordance with the ECHS model created by the state of Texas, all of Palo Alto College’s ECHS partners recruit all students, even those who typically earn B’s, C’s or D’s. According to S.T.E.M. ECHS principal Dr. Eddie Rodriguez, that fact makes the recognition as one of the nation’s best high schools an even bigger milestone of success. Rodriguez said that the students are naturally being prepared for college since they have the opportunity to earn their associate degrees from Palo Alto College while in high school, but the schools also encourage and prepare students to continue their college careers after graduation.

“The idea is that the student who is already being successful will be successful without us. Our schools are intended to bring in [all] students so that, by working with them, we can actually provide them an opportunity to get to college,” said Rodriguez, adding that the school provides ample access to support like tutoring, after school activities, and a high-quality teaching staff. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s great.”

In addition to the support from the schools, districts, and the College, Rodriguez said that the high school students’ success could not be done without the support of parents at home.

“I’m proud that we’re all on the same page to help our kids become successful, and the evidence is in the recognition that we’re receiving, especially from U.S. News and World Report,” said Rodriguez. “This is a national accolade for our school, something that has never happened in our district, so I’m very proud of the work from the teachers, staff, parents and kids. It’s just amazing that [schools] on the south side are being so successful. We’re very blessed.”

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