Principal on Creating a College Going Culture – Podcast Episode 86 | Classnotes Podcast 86

Classnotes Podcast (March 29, 2011) Often, the concept of college readiness has meant offering specific courses at the high school level and focusing on students who were likely to do well. Roland Toscano, M.S., a principal at East Central High School in San Antonio, says that while access to those courses is critical, that model has left many students behind. He describes how he and his staff saw transformation when underserved, underperforming students were given access to great teaching, excellent curriculum and strong support systems along with effective communication with parents, those students excelled beyond anyone’s expectations. With this learning, this high school has developed a college-going culture for all of its students rather than for a select few. Mr. Toscano is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate.

Show length: 16:09.

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Show Notes

  • Mr. Toscano is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate.

  • Mr. Toscano offers an overview of East Central High School and the challenges it has faced in building a college-going culture.

  • Mr. Toscano explains how the school has worked hard to change the deficit thinking that is often attached to terms such as "academic rigor" and "high expectations."

  • Mr. Toscano talks about how the school has involved parents and the community at large in preparing students to become college ready.

  • Mr. Toscano contends that training students to "meet the demands of our 21st Century" is less about using technology and more about building better "habits of mind."

  • Mr. Toscano discusses the ongoing professional development and awareness for his teachers and staff, and how that plays into creating a culture of college readiness.

  • Mr. Toscano emphasizes the importance of providing a high-quality curriculum to "all" students, particularly the underserved. With help from the Early College partnership and the liaison efforts of IDRA, this approach has resulted in "most kids exceeding their own expectations and ours."