Key Points

· The Texas High School Project (THSP) was created in 2003 as a public-private alliance to support education reform across the state.

· This article focuses on the pivotal role of philanthropy within the THSP alliance to create early college high schools (ECHS).

· The model has been scaled at different levels to produce direct, affordable pathways for students to both attend college and attain skilled careers.

· The ECHS schools have higher test scores, greater credits earned, and reduced dropouts rates compared to traditional schools.

· Foundations with a track record for supporting successful work can increase the overall commitment to joint projects and attract additional members and support to an alliance.

· Lessons for successful partnerships include investing in time together, managing the partnership through one organization, and using data for decision-making.

Open Access