President Obama’s favorite city school is making good on the promise of its innovative six-year program, school officials said Tuesday.
Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School gives students an associate’s degree in computer science alongside a regular high school diploma and first crack at a job with the school’s corporate partner, IBM.
P-TECH’s unusual model caught Obama’s eye soon after it opened in 2011, prompting the President to give the school a shoutout in his 2013 State of the Union address, and he visited the school later that year.
Now, with the completion of its first four years in operation, P-TECH officials say the school is showing some outstanding results.
“You look at the success of this model and it throws away all of your conceptions about what low-income students or students of color can achieve,” said Stanley Litow, president of IBM International Foundation. “I think this is a viable model to replace what’s happening with education across the United States.”
Six kids from P-TECH’s inaugural class have earned their college degrees and high school diplomas two years ahead of schedule.
That includes Gabriel Rosa, who applied to P-TECH on a whim.
“Being able to handle a lot of work is definitely a skill I’ve gained,” Rosa said. “If I wasn’t in P-TECH, I’m not sure where I’d be.”
A whopping 74% of kids from the 90-student class are deemed college-ready, more than twice the city average. And nearly every member of the inaugural class has taken some college course work already.
Up to 100 P-TECH-style schools may open by 2016 in several countries around the world, school officials say.
The innovative Crown Heights school has inspired dozens of similar six-year, early college schools around the country — including several in the city and more upstate.