Dan Wever recently pointed out to us that P-Tech is coming to EPISD.
I’m finding it hard to figure out what this really is but I found this from the Texas Education Agency:
Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) is an open-enrollment program that provides students with work-based education. P-TECH programs:
- Provide students grade 9 through 12 the opportunity to complete a course of study that combines high school and post-secondary courses.
- Within six years, enable students to earn a high school diploma, an associate degree, a two-year post-secondary certificate or industry certification, and complete work-based training.
- Allow students to gain work experience through an internship, apprenticeship, or other job training programs.
- Partner with Texas Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and regional businesses and industries, giving students access to post-secondary education and workforce training opportunities.
We would appreciate input from any of our readers who are knowledgeable about the topic.
We deserve better
If it actually delivers on that, it would be very good for students particularly those opting for a votech education vs a four year degree. Vocational education options help kids who learn better with their hands. Internships help kids figure out what career options they like and build a resume. In short, a good program like this actually gives kids marketable skills.
Maybe. A liberal arts degree will qualify you for Starbucks and a life of debt. A 2-year degree in nursing, med tech, skilled trades will have you in a paying job that has a career attached with minimal debt.
Too bad. Back in the Jurassic Era a liberal arts degree was a ticket to a corporate management training program in many fields, e.g., sales, IT (me), production, marketing, etc. But then, only about 25% of people even had a college degree, about the same as El Paso today.
Big Business valued the so-called broad thinking and writing skills provided by a liberal arts degree, or so they thought, and were willing to invest in training grads. I don’t think that would be true today; maybe from some schools but they come attached with big tuition. My alma mater, Lawrence University, had a $2,700 annual tuition in 1969 when I graduated and is $58,000 now. No way you can make that degree pay enough.
After doing a little research, it looks like P-TECH schools are big in Dallas ISD. It also looks like it is a designation that schools or districts apply for and receive status from TEA. We don’t have any P-TECH schools in the region yet, but a Ysleta school is applying. We do have T-STEM schools. This might be a crude overview, but I think P-TECH is geared toward preparing students for good paying technical jobs upon graduation, and T-STEM is geared toward preparing students for good paying college engineering programs. We need both and students should have options. As long as we don’t track brown students toward technical degrees and white students toward college degrees, then it is good to have both programs in the area.
MyMamFriday, Here is a little more of the P-TECH information. Remember this program was written into law by the Education Reform People. It seems to me that the Business people always want free trade and less government but they are willing to want tax breaks and they lobby to benefit their business interests. Is this program that lasts 6 years for students actually subsidizing private business interests?
Notice First Generation comment! 🙂
Sec. 29.557. RULES. (a) The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to administer the P-TECH program, including rules to ensure a student participating in the program is not considered for accountability purposes to have dropped out of high school or failed to complete the curriculum requirements for high school graduation until after the sixth anniversary of the date of the student’s first day in high school. The rules may provide for giving preference in receiving program benefits to a student who is in the first generation of the student’s family to attend college and may establish other distinctions or criteria based on student need.
Here is some more information.
Here are some Core Principals obtained from the P-TECH web site.
1. Students are expected to apply knowledge and skills in meaningful tasks within authentic contexts and given multiple opportunities to succeed.
2. Understanding big ideas in content (and in context) is central to the work of students.
3. Students can only find and make meaning when they ask questions, think at high levels, and solve problems.
4. Teachers should regularly use thought-provoking, engaging and interactive instructional strategies.
5. Students will have opportunities to revise their assignments using clear examples of successful work, known criteria, and timely feedback.
And in the meantime our kids are getting fatter and lazier.
Sounds great on paper. I’ve seen that type of education work very well in factories and know companies in other parts of the US that still value manufacturing who still participate in those types of programs because it helps excite young people about jobs in their industry. Not everyone learns well from books. This type of program can be very powerful.
I studied this program along with its roots in New York and the main point I got from the study was that in the High School the bar was raised higher and the students were made to think they could succeed even with the bar higher.
When Texas got hold of it, one of the first things I noticed was that the students are no longer in the Accountability system.
This is just another piece of the smorgasbord Education Reform that is replacing Public Education. I have seen none of these choices that actually are designed to help the student but rather benefit the vendors and try to make the district look good at any cost.
That’s sad, Dan. We actually need to migrate education back to the “acquire the skills you need to support yourself as an adult” model. The “discover yourself in college” model is no longer affordable and “the grades are judgmental and demoralizing” model has raised a generation of complete idiots (although that has been an effective feeder mechanism for “the take out a megaloan to find yourself in college” model). Seriously, to your point, I think the worst element is the fact that we have turned education into an industry where vendors lobby for programs designed to increase their profits and taxpayers see rising school taxes with no improvement in educational outcomes.