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N.Y. Governor Seeks to Create More 'P-TECH' Early-College High Schools

Ever since President Obama mentioned the Pathways in Technology Early College High School in his State of the Union speech last year, the P-TECH model has been gaining traction.

This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed an additional $5 million for P-TECH schools in each of the state's 10 economic-development zones. This would be in addition to the 16 now in development.

The model leverages a close partnership with businesses to train at-risk students in grades 9-14 in careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. (See Marketplace K-12 blog for more details.)

The program started in 2011 with a Brooklyn, N.Y., school in collaboration with IBM. The model has been replicated elsewhere in New York City, as well as in Chicago and Idaho. The goal is for students to graduate with a high school diploma, a two-year associate degree, and a promise from participating companies to give the students priority consideration for hiring.

The approach has had promising results and the Aspen Institute has identified the IBM P-TECH as a successful model in its Economic Opportunities Program

Advocates of career-technical education are eager to see the P-TECH model expand and tried out in more rural communities with smaller employers.

In addition to New York, other states are making investments in new approaches to encourage pathways from high school to college and career.

Last September, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced $2 million in grants from the state's Early College Innovation Fund. The money will support six partnerships between local school systems and higher education institutions to support accelerated pathways for students in STEM disciplines or STEM-related CTE programs.

Also, Vermont lawmakers recently approved a Flexiliby Pathways Act that provides more money for early-college high schools, dual enrollment, work-based learning, and personalized learning plans.

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