Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Connecting Every Student to a Meaningful Future – Podcast Episode 85 | Classnotes Podcast 85

Classnotes Podcast (March 10, 2011) In education, as in everything else, problem solving requires first a clear definition of the problem itself. One Texas superintendent examined his district’s dropout data and found an unexpected trend. Daniel King, Ph.D., superintendent of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district, describes steps he took to recover 12th grade dropouts and lead them to graduate not just with a diploma but also with college credit. He shares how his district has cut the number of dropouts by 85 percent and is well on its way to reaching its ambitious goal of having every student earning dual credit by the time they graduate. Dr. King is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.

Show length: 22:41

Send comments to

Sign up for Classnotes e-mail alerts.

Your feedback

We welcome your comments and questions to the podcast. Send an e-mail to

Listen to every episode!

To ensure you don’t miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.


Show Notes

  • Dr. King is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center. Send comments to Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.

  • Dr. King talks about studying the dropout data after becoming superintendent for the PSJA school district in 2007, and the surprises that he found. He explains where many seniors were falling short of graduation requirements.

  • Dr. King discusses the challenges of remediation campuses, and why dropouts are often reluctant to come back for classes.

  • Dr. King describes the unique dual-enrollment campus - the College Career and Technology Academy - that the district created in partnership with a nearby community college, including how the program was presented as an attractive option to both the dropout students and their parents.

  • Dr. King shares the statistics on the overwhelming success of the program in its first three years (more than 700 students have graduated), and recounts the story of a particular student who returned to high school, and graduated, at the age 26.

  • Aurelio asks Dr. King how he worked with administrators to overcome the "deficit view" that typically prevails around dropout students.

  • Dr. King talks about the progress of the district's latest ambitious goal: enrolling all of their students in dual-enrollment classes before they graduate high school.