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Editorial: CNM-APS partnership delivers

A little-known public high school in Albuquerque that is a partnership between Central New Mexico Community College and Albuquerque Public Schools this year earned the top grade from the New Mexico Public Education Department – an A across the board

Just as College and Career High has every year since it opened in 2013.

It was the only public school in the state this year to earn top marks in all eight areas that make up the final grade. The categories include graduation rate, opportunities to learn and improvements for both highest-performing and lowest-performing students.

And like other schools that allow students to complete some college courses while in high school, it is a smashing success for students who want to learn and get a head start on their careers and on life.

College and Career High is located on CNM’s main campus. Its students simultaneously work toward an APS high school diploma and a CNM associate degree.

If they are successful, they can go on to earn a four-year degree at a university or college or go right to work in a career field of their choice. Students have access to about 100 CNM programs, including electrical trades, biology, welding and political science.

And it’s a bargain: Textbooks and classes are free, worth $6,000 if an associate’s degree is earned.

The school tailors education to each student, and achievement coaches keep them on track. “We design courses to support students specifically, to bolster their test scores, but really their skills,” dean Karen Krall says.

This innovative approach also debunks the idea that economically disadvantaged kids can’t learn. Fifty-nine percent of its students are Hispanic, and 83 percent are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. CNM president Katharine Winograd said the student body reflects Albuquerque’s population, adding, “This works because the students have high expectations and everybody who works with them has high expectations for them.”

Clearly, something great is going on at this special public school. CNM and APS are to be credited for this partnership that delivers on its high expectations.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.