President Obama Visited Pathways in Technology Early College High School Today After Highlighting Its Success in This Year’s State of the Union Speech
P-Tech Is One of the 654 New Small Schools Created by the Bloomberg Administration
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered today before President Obama’s visit to Pathways in Technology Early College High School:
“Thank you, everyone – and thank you Principal Davis, for hosting us here today. Good afternoon – and welcome to one of the most innovative schools in America. Yes, go ahead, it’s something to celebrate.
“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 those people that participate in it, created it and are benefiting from it.
“Are you guys excited to see the President? So am I, and he’s almost here.
"We were honored to have President Obama mention P-TECH in his State of the Union address last January, and we’re excited that he’s coming here to see this school firsthand.
“If you go back to 2011, our Administration opened P-TECH in partnership with IBM and the City University of New York. The school is part of our broader effort to ensure that all of our high school students graduate ready for college and for careers.
“The global economy, as we all know, is rapidly changing, and it’s critical that our schools keep pace. A high school diploma is no longer a guaranteed ticket into the middle class. More and more jobs require more and more knowledge and skills.
“By connecting students directly to college – and directly to potential employers – our students will be better prepared to succeed. That’s what the Obama Administration has been working to do all across our great country – and that’s the idea behind P-TECH.
“Since President Obama wisely challenged the country last January to create more schools just like P-TECH, we’ve helped leading the way. Last month, as Principal Davis said, we opened two more schools that use the P-TECH model, which is four years of high school plus two years of college. We call it grades 9 through 14.
“And we’re opening in the process three more 9 to14 schools next September. I think it’s safe to say there’s no other city in this country that has done more to connect high school students to college and careers – and we’re honored that President Obama is here to highlight that work.
“It’s also important to note that P-TECH would not even exist here were it not for the strong reform policy that the Obama Administration has supported, and that’s replacing failing schools with new ones.
“This was once a large high school that had been failing its students for too long. We began shrinking it down and growing P-TECH – while also co-locating other career-oriented schools, like the Academy of Health Careers. The Obama administration stood with us as we worked to transform failing schools here and across the city. We’ll always be grateful for that support, and P-TECH is a terrific example of just how important that work is.
“The Obama Administration’s educational policies have helped lead to crucial reforms across our city and across our country, and there’s no doubt that the leadership demonstrated by the President and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will have lasting impact on the future of our country.
“So this is a great day for our schools and our city – and it’s a day for everyone to be proud of the progress that we’ve made here in New York City: Graduation rates are up nearly 40 percent and we’ve cut the dropout rate by half.
“Our students, our teachers, our principals, our parents, everyone shares in the credit for those gains. We still have an awful lot of work to do, but today is a day to celebrate, to celebrate just how far we’ve come and to realize just what the potential is for all the kids who are benefiting.
“God bless, and in a few minutes you can welcome the President of the United States.”