Board assesses Early College High School program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007


In its fourth year, the kinks in the Selma Early College High School are still being worked out, as the program prepares to graduate its first class.

Members of the Selma City Schools Board of Education looked Wednesday over some of the results of the program, saying they thought students graduating from the program would have Associate of Arts degrees. They won’t.

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The program, developed through a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a partnership with Selma High School and Wallace Community College Selma. It has produced mixed results and board members say parents need to know their graduates won’t have college degrees.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Verdell Dawson said since students enrolled in SECHS are taking more advanced courses they have an advantage over students at Selma High. As a result there will be four top graduates instead of two for the graduating class.

Board members were openly critical of the endeavor, which was designed to offer students who would be the firsts in their families to attend college. School officials reviewed results that showed what some said, &8220;are problems.&8221; Coley Chestnut said what his colleagues called problems were things that &8220;simply need to be worked out.&8221;

Part of the results revealed half of the students taking history at SECHS failed.

School officials said the problem could be in instruction, and could be in how the students were selected. Board members James Terry said he felt like he had been left &8220;out of the loop.&8221;