Mentioned PTECH in State of the Union
By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
President Barack Obama plans to visit Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) in Crown Heights on Friday, as Politicker reported.
In February, Obama generated interest in the technology-centered school by mentioning it in his State of the Union speech.
“Now at schools like P-TECH in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York public schools and City University of New York and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering,” Obama said at the time.
Details of Obama’s visit to the school, which is on the former Paul Robeson High School campus, were not available from the White House press office on Monday, but were slated to be released on Tuesday.
The school, which combines traditional high school work with associate degree-level work in technology in six years, is one of about 12 “early college” high schools administered by the city Department of Education.
P-TECH (which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School) also has two partners – IBM, as an its industry partner, and New York City College of Technology (City Tech) here in Brooklyn, as its college partner.
How did Obama hear of P-Tech? “Almost certainly through U.S. Secretary of Education Anne Duncan,” Bonne August, provost and vice president of City Tech, told the Eagle earlier this year. “She’s visited the school several times.”
At P-Tech, August adds, students take most of their classes at the Paul Robeson campus for the first four years, although they may venture to City Tech to take a few course. Then, during the last two years, they study full-time at City Tech’s Downtown Brooklyn campus.
The school, which opened in 2011, now has ninth, 10th and 11th grade students. As is customary with new schools, an extra grade has been added year.
The Insideschools.org site says, “Most classes have two or three teachers, so students get plenty of individual attention. Students are strongly encouraged to stay after school for tutoring. Many attend summer enrichment classes, such as one in geometry, to give them a head start on their Regents exams.
“Students take double periods of English, math, history and technology so they can complete their high school requirements as quickly as possible and go on to college level classes. The expectation is that every student will be in calculus by year four.”
Of the original group of students, August says, “some were really into technology, but some were just looking for a good school.” As news of the school spreads, she says, she expects more of a tech-oriented student body.
According to P-Tech’s own web site, positions for which the program prepares its students include manufacturing engineering technician, quality analyst and software specialist.