Brooklyn school model to be copied statewide

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ALBANY—A Brooklyn high school recognized by President Barack Obama for its innovative technology curriculum will be the model for a new programs in 16 communities around the state, officials said Monday.

Business executives, along with government and education officials rolled out the new plan that is based on the cutting-edge curriculum at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH. At the Crown Heights school students are taught an intensive computer-science curriculum along with more traditional high school courses; and also complete two years of college-level work to receive an associates degree in computer science or engineering. President Obama visited P-TECH last month and praised the school in his State of the Union speech in February.

State Education Commissioner John King, Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy and IBM International Foundation President Stanley Litow were among those who gathered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany to discuss the details of the expansion. They were joined by officials from the Brooklyn school, which opened in 2011.

Duffy called the P-TECH expansion an economic and development initiative.

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“This is how you change the economy, this is how you change the landscape,” he said. “This is how you give these kids hope.”

The schools, which have grades 9 to 14, will be located in each of the state's economic development regions. They will include a local school district, a university campus and private businesses. King said the schools will be an important way to get more poor and minority students to college and in careers.

The state included more than $4 million in funding in the 2013-2014 budget to support the start up of the schools. Litow said the expanded program will be good for businesses because that face a lack of qualified applicants for the jobs of the future. He said businesses will gain greatly from partnering with public schools.

“When we devote these resources, we get a return on investment,” he said.