News and Speeches

Chancellor and GE Foundation Announce Innovative CTE And STEM Initiatives

3/23/2015

$3.2 Million of Existing Investment Will Support Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pilot Program and Enhanced STEM Teacher Training, including for Renewal Schools

GE Foundation Funds STEM Instruction and CTE to Prepare Students for College and Competing in the Global Economy

         NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced new initiatives to strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) and STEM instruction across the City. GE Foundation funding will support an innovative CTE pilot program designed to strengthen teaching and learning practices at 10 schools, as well as STEM training for up to 200 schools through brand-new multi-day STEM Institutes. 100 schools will attend the first STEM Institute this spring, including six Renewal schools that can leverage this experience to help drive improvement in teaching and student outcomes. The $3.2 million in funding comes from GE Foundation’s original funding engagement in 2008 of $32.3 million in grants to the DOE.  

Schools participating in the CTE pilot will work with higher education and industry partners to define specific sequential competencies for their CTE program, and establish strong professional development as well as curriculum and assessment materials aligned to those competencies. Known as mastery-based learning, this approach is both innovative and common-sense, deepening engagement and supporting achievement by providing clear and meaningful expectations and helping students, teachers, and families track student progress. CTE schools, programs, and schools that wish to establish a CTE program can apply through a competitive process this fall; selected schools will begin implementation later in the 2015-16 school year.
 
Chancellor Fariña made today’s joint announcement with Kelli Wells, the GE Foundation’s Executive Director of Education and Skills, at the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School.

“Rigorous CTE and STEM programs have a tremendous ability to engage our students and prepare them for success in college and careers,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “It’s so critical to have industry and higher education partners on board for this important work. These initiatives also provide more opportunities for teachers and school leaders at Renewal schools to change the dynamics in their building, and we will encourage them to take advantage. I thank GE Foundation for their support, and I look forward to working with them and other partners to ensure our students are ready for the next step.”  
 
“The GE Foundation is excited to partner with Chancellor Fariña and the New York City schools through this initiative,” said Kelli Wells, Executive Director of Education and Skills for the GE Foundation. “As both community members and future employers of today’s students we understand how crucial it is for them to graduate high school with the skills they need to succeed. GE Foundation is dedicated to using education as a lever to close the skills gap in this community and beyond, and we are looking forward to do so with our terrific partners here in New York City.” 

“With this commitment, the GE Foundation is spearheading a new and growing partnership between business, educators and the City that will ensure that our students are well qualified for jobs in the innovation economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “This project represents a huge step forward in the application of the expertise of employers to training teachers and developing CTE and STEM materials that are relevant to the needs of the job market and necessary to prepare students for success in college and careers.”
 
The GE Foundation’s STEM investment begins with funding for the DOE’s first-ever intensive, three-day citywide STEM Institute, which will take place next month. At the STEM Institute, teachers and school leaders will have professional learning opportunities, and be able to work directly with experienced STEM partner organizations. Nearly 300 teachers and school leaders representing 100 schools will attend this Institute, and receive continuing support in planning and implementing innovative STEM instruction in their schools before and during the upcoming school year. This first cohort will participate in two additional STEM Institutes in Summer 2015 and Spring 2016, joined by up to an additional 100 schools. In addition to the six Renewal schools from the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn participating in this spring’s Institute, Renewal schools will be encouraged to participate in the upcoming STEM Institutes to strengthen STEM instruction.

These initiatives deepen recent work to improve and expand CTE and STEM instruction throughout the City, a key priority of the Chancellor. There are now a total of 318 CTE programs serving roughly 120,000 students across all five boroughs, including 51 designated CTE high schools, 33 of which have opened since 2003. DOE has worked with industry partners to design and implement industry-aligned, knowledge-economy CTE programs that prepare students for both college and the workforce. STEM instruction and extracurricular programs across the City include everything from new software engineering programs at 20 DOE schools to 436 school gardens that give students a hands-on approach to environmental science and sustainability. 

Together with the new initiatives funded by the GE Foundation, existing STEM and CTE programs will give more students a solid educational foundation that prepares them for college and careers, and equip them with the requisite skills to compete successfully in the global economy. The goal of science and mathematics programs in STEM education is to strengthen student opportunity and the economy by narrowing the gap between students’ skills and the needs of the labor market. This is particularly helpful in our most struggling schools.

            Since 2008, GE Foundation’s funding engagement of $32.3 million in grants has also provided more than 230,000 hours of professional development for educators, including 1,700 principals and lead teachers in New York City. The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of GE employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. Follow the GE Foundation at www.gefoundation.com and on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.