Let’s have P-Tech-type innovation instead of critical race theory.
Providence schools don’t necessarily have to sign up with Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), but doesn’t this seem like the level of innovation and drive that we ought to have seen after the dreadful John Hopkins report more than two years ago?
Founded in 2011 by IBM and the Bloomberg administration in New York City, P-TECH has spread to 10 states with 127 schools as of last year, achieving remarkable results for the low-income, black, and Latino students they serve. In Dallas, for example, 72 percent of students graduated with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in about four years. That’s about eight times the national average for on-time community college graduation by students of color.
After decades of struggle in America to lift the fortunes of low-income students, an answer has emerged in P-TECH, which operates within public school systems, typically taking over all or part of existing schools.
What’s the secret sauce? It starts with an accelerated curriculum and frequent testing to keep students on track–the very things that progressive educators are trying to stamp out today. Students complete a two-year community college associate’s degree in addition to the typical high school program as early as 12th grade, a notable achievement. In another break from standard fare, schools bring on corporate partners who inspire students with the opportunity for jobs in hot fields like computer programming and health care technology—a boon for companies that can’t find qualified candidates to fill such positions.
Tragically, it seems the chances of such programs are getting dimmer, not brighter, at least in places like Rhode Island. The challenge was daunting enough when mounted only by the establishments’ guardians of mediocrity, the teachers unions, but now there’s a new ideological front.
The RealClearInvestigations article at the above link raises critical race theory in this context for good reason. CRT finds fault with other people (“the system”) and seeks to radically transform everybody on the claim it will help those who are disadvantaged. P-TECH proves that “underperforming students from poor communities can master a race-neutral mainstream STEM curriculum.”
In addition to reviving racism from its near-death to the flower of health, CRT locks in exactly the frame of mind that prevents academic and economic progress for the young people its advocates claim to support.
Featured image by Cleyton Ewerton on Unsplash.