According to the New York Times, President Obama visited Brooklyn high school P-Tech on Friday; the same school he praised in his State of the Union address earlier this year. The visit was, in part, due to the president’s belief of the urgency of education reform in the global economy. The 3-year-old Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech) in the neighborhood of Crown Heights offers associates degrees to students while still in high school, essentially giving them an edge for jobs with IBM. IBM developed the 6-year curriculum for both the high school and college portions of the school. The first students in the program are set to finish in 2017 with both a high school diploma and an associates degree in applied science in computer information systems or electromechanical engineering.
The New York Times reports, in 2012, five P-Tech-styled schools opened in Chicago, in collaboration with companies like Microsoft, Motorola and Verizon. This year, two more schools modeled on P-Tech opened in New York City, with three more expected to open next year. At his arrival, the president was cheered on by excited students and a number of New York politicians. When he began his address with “Hello Brooklyn!” the students got even more riled up.
Among the grinning students stood another proud New Yorker. The New York Daily News reports Mayor Bloomberg said he was thrilled by the presidential visit. “When the President of the United States comes to our city to highlight something that he sees as a role model for the nation, it's a great day for all of us who participated in it, who created it and who are benefiting from it," he said.
The president then proceeded with his argument of the necessity of creating more schools like P-Tech in order to properly prepare the next generation of educated leaders, workers, and entrepreneurs to be able to compete in this global economy. “This country should be doing everything in our power to give more kids the chance to go to schools just like this one,” he said.
President Obama continued his address by emphasizing the importance of education and with providing students with the tools they need to have a successful career. The president also stressed the need to invest in teachers, lower college costs, and give every student access to high-speed Internet -- all vital for a well-rounded education that prepares students for their future.
Watch the entire video of the presidential addess to the students here.