Great piece in US News & World Report by American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten and IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs Stanley Litow, a former vice-chancellor of the New York City Public Schools.
…High-quality career and technical education programs provide real pathways to meaningful employment and continuing education – opportunities often absent from traditional “vocational education” programs. Uneven results branded legacy vocational programs as second-class choices for underserved students. But in high-quality career and technical education schools, these same students benefit from strong academics and training in the types of problem solving and communication skills that enable smooth transition to college and career. It’s no wonder Tech Insider named P-TECH [in Brooklyn] among the 13 most innovative schools in the world.
Essential for high-quality career and technical education, public-private partnerships form the heart of the American Federation of Teachers’ Promising Pathways initiative – a multi-city grant program that helps teachers’ unions, school districts, community colleges, chambers of commerce, state and city governments, and industry collaborate in service to our young people. In New York City; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Peoria, Illinois; Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Promising Pathways partners are working together to create educational programs that deliver the academic rigor, workplace skills and in-demand credentials graduates need for postsecondary enrollment and jobs. Each P-TECH school is a partnership, and IBM is encouraging other companies to partner with CTE programs – with 100 large and small companies engaged.