Obama pushes program to turn public schools over to corporations
By Steve Light and A. Woodson
23 December 2013
President Barak Obama made a well-publicized helicopter landing in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn October 25 to visit Pathways in Technology Early College High School, known as P-TECH. It is a public school where IBM has been placed in charge, and Obama used the appearance to promote a new expansion of government efforts to privatize public education. He was accompanied by Bill de Blasio, who has subsequently been elected as mayor, and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) president Michael Mulgrew.
Opened in 2011, P-TECH is an enhancement of career and technical education (CTE). Formerly known as vocational education, courses such as carpentry, air conditioning, electrical engineering and cooking had been greatly cut back under the rationale that they resulted in tracking that left disadvantaged children unprepared for college. CTE, it is claimed, overcomes this issue by combining modern skills, such as computer sciences, with academics, including college credit-bearing courses.
The P-TECH model further moves students toward “college readiness” beginning in the ninth grade by being a six-year program, partnering with the City University to provide graduating students with an associate degree for 2-years’ college credit.