The Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Population’s (CESDP) project will improve the educational trajectory for rural secondary students who are predominantly Native American, Hispanic, and ELL and the first in their families to graduate from high school and college. The key players include 11 Districts, 29 schools, and nearly 20,000 students; Innovative Digital Education and Learning in New Mexico (IDEAL-NM), Statewide ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education), and CESDP staff. Schools will implement: 1) nationally benchmarked college- and career-ready assessments to improve classroom practices and better target mentoring and tutoring services; 2) standards-based professional development through facilitated professional learning communities and a statewide Leaders Network; 3) academic rigor through AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) strategies and Advanced Placement; 4) virtual course offerings; and 5) parent centers that support college and career planning. CESDP’s proven, research-based approach begins in middle school by working with administrators and teachers to establish a college-going culture. This crucial shift away from persistent remediation toward one of high expectations and goal setting for college begins with the introduction of AVID at the middle school and continues through high school. A district-wide AVID Program involves all teachers in high-yield teaching strategies with the goal of preparing first-generation college-going students for rigorous coursework and success in college. For rural NM schools, the institutionalization of the AVID program from middle to high school is an innovation that has been implemented in only 8% of the state’s districts and in only 4% of the rural districts.
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