AASA President-Elect David Schuler Participates in White House College Readiness Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-875-0723
703-774-6953 (cell)
jminichello@aasa.org

Other AASA members participating

Alexandria, Va. – Dec. 4, 2014 – David R. Schuler, president-elect of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the superintendent of Township High School District 214 (Arlington Heights, Ill.), is joining President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden for today’s White House College Opportunity Summit.

The group also includes AASA members Daniel E. Cates, superintendent of Township High School District 211 (Palatine, Ill.), Brian Harris, superintendent of Barrington 220 Community Unit School District (Barrington, Ill.) and David McGehee, superintendent of Lee’s Summit R-7 School District (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Missouri’s 2014 State Superintendent of the Year.

The innovative partnership between Harper College and the local high school districts to get more students college and career ready will be highlighted at the summit. The program, taking place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., will focus on building sustainable K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage more first-generation, low-income and minority students to attend and complete college.

“Our staff works hard every day to ensure our curriculum is relevant beyond high school, so that our students leave our schools with college credit and credentials and internship experiences that inspire them to discover their passion and reach their full potential,” Schuler said. “We're preparing students for futures we can't yet imagine, and we're so excited to share these initiatives and our promise to our students.”

In 2010, Harper College and the local high school districts partnered to launch the Northwest Educational Council for Student Success to align curriculum and testing, expand dual-credit opportunities and create career and academic pathways. As a result, high school students have earned hundreds of career certifications and completed several thousand dual-credit courses.

“High School District 211 is committed to providing our students with the necessary skills and rigorous courses to be successful in college,” said Cates. “Whether it's through a Dual Credit course, or one of our Advanced Placement courses, District 211's efforts include continuously aligning and enriching our college-preparatory curriculum, as well as creating courses that will help students access and be successful in credit-bearing college courses.”

Harris celebrated the strides the partnership has made, saying “Barrington 220 is excited about the ongoing partnership with Harper College and our other local school districts to enhance the college readiness expectations for our students.”

“We think we have a model worth emulating in communities across the country,” said Harper College President Ken Ender. “There’s a disconnect in the U.S. between K-12 and higher education, which creates obstacles for students at a time when post-secondary credentials are all but required for family sustaining wages. We need to find better ways to create college opportunities.”

Additionally, the number of recent high school graduates placing into college-level math at Harper has risen from 45 percent to 67 percent. Research shows students who begin college in remedial courses are far less likely to earn a degree or certificate.

Today’s summit will build on the work from the first College Opportunity Summit held in January 2014 while also launching initiatives in new areas. At the inaugural event, Ender announced Harper’s commitment to increasing its graduation rate and the number of students placing into credit-bearing math courses. Harper has exceeded both its targets. Harper will make three new commitments, as well, including scaling up the NECSS model through a national symposium and toolkit that will guide others.

Similarly, the high school districts will announce their own commitments focused on curriculum, expanded scholarship opportunities and a new Power of 15 program that provides a pathway for high school students to graduate with 15 college credit hours.

The event will be streamed live at whitehouse.gov/live.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.