For many years, NACEP’s Platform has supported including language in the federal Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) recognizing dual enrollment as a viable form of access to college for all students. While there have been numerous legislative bills introduced and passed in both the U.S. House and Senate over the years encouraging dual enrollment coursework, the strategy is now being promoted by the Obama/Duncan administration even more visibly.
This spring, the Obama administration proposed a new “College Pathways and Accelerated Learning” program in its Blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and FY2011 Budget Request, to provide competitive grants to school districts to better prepare students for high school graduation and college success through dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and other accelerated learning opportunities. The President’s FY 2011 budget requested $100 million for the College Pathways program to “increase access to college-level, dual credit, and other accelerated courses in high-need high schools, and to support college-going strategies and models that will help students succeed. “ The administration has also been promoting dual enrollment as a strategy to use in turning around low-performing high schools with low academic expectations and graduation rates, through the criteria in the Race to the Top Fund (RTF) and this year’s Title I School Improvement Grants.
In April, NACEP’s Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting the passage of the College Pathways and Accelerated Learning program and encourages members to similarly support this legislation.