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President Obama To Visit Crown Heights' P-TECH Friday

By Sonja Sharp | October 21, 2013 5:32pm
 Students at Crown Heights'   Pathways in Technology Early College High School and their IBM mentors celebrated a successful second year with a friendly engineering competition. 
P-Tech Students Have Fun With Physics
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CROWN HEIGHTS — They're truly Brooklyn's finest. 

Students at Crown Heights' celebrated Pathways in Technology Early College High School will get a congratulatory visit from President Barack Obama on Friday, nearly a year after he first named the new Brooklyn school as a model in his State of the Union Address. 

"It’s going to be a  big day for us — [the President's] voice will be so important to try to get this model replicated throughout the United States," said IBM Senior Program Manager Grace Suh, whose company helped shape the curriculum alongside the DOE, CUNY and the New York City College of Technology, providing the school's 300-plus pupils with professional mentors. 

"It’s a great thing for the kids, the school, the model — it’s really terrific," Suh said.

Though P-Tech principal Rashid Davis did not immediately return calls for comment, city officials and educators were quick to crow about the news.

“P-Tech is a 21st century school that prepares its students for 21st century jobs. With a unique mission, a dedicated industry partner in IBM, and a relationship with CUNY, P-Tech students are developing the skills requisite for long and successful careers," Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a press release Monday.

"I am excited to have President Obama visit this outstanding school and see the innovation, dedicated teaching, and quality learning that goes on across the New York City school system.”

Unlike other celebrated city schools, P-Tech doesn't test for admission and draws most of its students from its immediate surroundings in Central Brooklyn. Yet, many wipe out their high school requirements in a matter of months, pass their Regents exams as freshmen, and begin taking college courses sophomore year.

The curriculum is designed so that students graduate with an Associates Degree in addition to a Regents diploma. 

"[P-Tech] offers students a high school diploma, an associate degree, and industry internships — all integrated into the high school experience," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press release Monday.

"We’re honored that President Obama has hailed P-Tech as a national model, and I look forward to joining him when he visits P-Tech on Friday.”