In recent years, high schools that are configured to provide students the opportunity to earn both a high-school diploma and a college associate's degree or up two years of credit toward a bachelor's degree have grown in popularity. The Early College High School Initiative, a private partnership made up of 13 member organizations, has started or redesigned more than 200 such schools since 2002. In addition, the National Center on Education and the Economy is spearheading a similar initiative. Dozens of public schools in eight states next fall will adopt a program that lets 10th-grade students test out of high school and go to community college. The first generation of these schools targeted low-income, minority students who were likely to be the first in their family to attend college.
Are early college high schools a good idea? What are the pros and cons?