Colo. promotes associate’s degrees in high school

Colleen Slevin:

Colorado is making it easier for schools to offer teens a chance to earn an associate’s degree while still in high school, a move backers say could help lower the dropout rate and help the state win millions in extra federal stimulus money.
Gov. Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1319 into law along with eight other education bills on Thursday at a high school called the Middle College of Denver.
It’s one of a half dozen high schools around the state where students take career classes and earn college credit at nearby community colleges.
Ritter urged the students, packed into the school cafeteria along with lawmakers and education officials, to tell their siblings and friends about the program, which he said would help keep more students in school.
State education officials believe it’s the first statewide program of its kind in the nation.
“None of this is really about us. This is about you,” Ritter said before sitting down to sign the bills.