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President Obama Visits CTE School


October 28, 2013


President Obama Visits CTE School

President Barack Obama visited Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech) last Friday to tour the school and deliver remarks on the “Next Generation of Middle Class American Workers and Entrepreneurs.”

P-Tech High School opened in 2011 and is a collaboration between New York City’s Department of Education, the City University of New York and IBM. Students attend the school for six years—grades 9-14—and graduate with an associate degree in computer science. Those graduates then have an inside track for entry-level careers at IBM and are able to move on to further postsecondary education.

Though P-Tech has only been open for a couple of years, the model is being used to open additional schools in New York City and in other cities across the country.

In his speech, the president viewed the opportunities provided by P-Tech as a way for students to get a leg up in their lives. By graduating from high school with an associate degree students have “already paid for half of their college education,” so when they start working they’ll “have less of a debt burden from student loans.”

He also addressed the ongoing budget battles in Congress stating that “Congress needs to pass a budget that reflects the need to invest in young people” and that the conversations should not be “about what we can cut but about how many more schools like P-Tech we can create.”

Beyond the budget, the president laid out his view of what we need to do as a country to ensure every child receives a great education, which includes:

  • ensuring every child has access to high-quality preschool
  • ensuring 99% of students have high-speed internet access
  • bringing down the cost of college and increasing college access
  • redesigning high schools to teach the skills required for a high-tech economy
  • providing more resources and professional development for educators

It is encouraging that the president is addressing the need to graduate high school students college and career ready with the technical skills and academic knowledge needed to succeed in both the workplace and in higher education. Currently, the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act supports high-quality CTE programs around the country that are graduating students with industry-recognized credentials and college credits, and funding should be increased to reach additional students and spread its mission.

Take a minute to tell the president and your Members of Congress to support and invest in CTE and the Perkins Act with the CTE Action Center.

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