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New CTE and STEM initiatives coming to NYC public schools

Photo courtesy of Councilman Rory Lancman

Strengthening core curriculum in public schools that gives students a head start on preparing for college and careers is a major focus of the New York City schools chancellor this year.

The General Electronic (GE) Foundation gave a $3.2 million investment to the school system that will support a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) pilot program and an enhanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher training program.

“CTE and STEM programs provide an innovative way to motivate students and prepare them for future success,” said Councilman Rory Lancman, who joined Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña at Thomas Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Jamaica on Monday to announce the new programs. “The training provided at schools such as Thomas Edison ensures students graduate high school with skills they need to succeed in college and their careers.”

Schools participating in the CTE pilot program will work with higher education and industry partners to satisfy all portions of their CTE program. They will also establish professional development and assessment materials that are aligned to their respective programs, according to Fariña.

The GE Foundation’s funding will support the CTE pilot at 10 schools and the STEM training for up to 200 schools through new multiday STEM Institutes. CTE schools, programs and schools that wish to establish a CTE program can apply through a competitive process this fall and selected schools will begin implementation later in the 2015-2016 school year, according to Fariña.

The STEM investment will consist of the DOE’s first-ever intensive, three-day citywide STEM Institute, which will take place next month. At the STEM Institutes, 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 will attend this institute, according to Fariña, and the first cohort will participate in two additional STEM Institutes in summer 2015 and spring 2016.

“Rigorous CTE and STEM programs have a tremendous ability to engage our students and prepare them for success in college and careers,” said Fariña. “It is 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.”

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