In 16 school districts across New York State, teachers and administrators have just begun the hard work of reinventing American education. All are winners of the statewide competition announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and The State University of New York to replicate the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model that will prepare New York’s next generation for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and health care. The school districts partnered with area community colleges and leading businesses to submit
winning proposals to create innovative grades 9 – 14 institutions that focus on rigorous
academics and workplace skills – the critical combination that connects high school to college and a good career. Graduates will receive both a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost to their families, and will be first in line for jobs with their school’s partnering company.
Connecting with others is critical to the success of nearly every endeavor. To help facilitate the massive communication and collaboration tasks ahead for all of the partners, IBM has awarded a SmartCloud for Social Business grant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc., which will oversee the implementation of the P-TECH model. New York State
P-TECH is critical to expanding the talent pipeline and encouraging robust economic development in communities in every part of the state.
Experience tells us that one of the most effective ways to support the 16 new partnerships and assure their success will be to establish a strong network among them. With the IBM SmartCloud, we will be able to launch virtual learning communities, share effective practices, brainstorm next steps, delve into our core design principles and encourage local customization and creativity. The portal will offer us a range of technical tools, including webinars and blogs, but the power will be in the community of practice that we build among these experienced, innovative education and business leaders.
Collaborating in the cloud, our community college professors and high school teachers
will align a seamless secondary and postsecondary curriculum, while our industry-leading business partners including Global Foundries, Cisco, GE HealthCare, and IBM will map workplace skills to the curriculum. In addition, Governor Cuomo’s leadership team, including representatives from NYSED and The Business Council of New York State, Inc., will
New York State is poised to unleash a powerful new grades 9 – 14 model that will educate the critical thinkers and problem solvers that our 21st century workforce requires. IBM’s SmartCloud for Social Business grant will help bring together K-12 education, higher education and industry to help us achieve this goal.
Robin Willner is a consultant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc.,
serving as Director of its NYS P-TECH Leadership Council.
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