Dolores Gonzalez Recognized for Leadership in Preparing All Students for College

By Arianna Prothero, Education Week

Three miles from the Pharr International Bridge in Texas—a major point of entry into the United States from Mexico—the prekindergarten students at the IDEA Pharr Academy arrive with virtually no English-language skills. By the time they graduate, though, most will be headed for a four-year college or university with at least 11 AP course credits on their transcripts. The lead architect of that trajectory is Dolores Gonzalez, the chief program officer at IDEA Public Schools, a charter school network that serves 30,000 students, most of them in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Motivated by “devastating” feedback from IDEA graduates who said they felt unprepared for college-level coursework, Gonzalez is leading an Advanced Placement for All initiative that, along with a new pre-K program, starts building the path to higher education in the earliest years.

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