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Accelerating Expectations

Session 3
Will Ehrenfeld, Joel Duran, Kevin Garcia — P-TECH

Join some of the founders—staff and students—of a pioneering public school that has been celebrated by President Obama, PM Tony Abbott of Australia, and public officials and business leaders from around the world for a discussion on the value of school culture. The P-TECH movement now includes over 40 sites, including schools throughout New York State, Connecticut and Chicago. We will discuss the unique impact of the 9-14 public-private partnership school model that has raised expectations for underrepresented youth by preparing them for careers in the tech industry and share ideas for how to improve school culture through external partnerships. The presence of committed, well-trained mentors in the school on a consistent basis, along with college professors and other caring adults, creates a college-going culture that transforms the school experience for young people who, demographically, are unlikely to earn college degrees. In addition, providing workplace experience in a corporate environment allows students to see themselves in a new light, with the accompanying elevated expectations that go along with a middle class career. In particular, we will investigate the effects of accelerated progress for students on their peers through the lens of 18-year-old young people who have earned both a high school diploma and an associate in applied sciences degree and, in three cases, full-time jobs at IBM.

Conversational Practice

Students in their 5th year of the 9-14 program will share their experiences through brief presentations and Q&A. Then, the whole group participates in a question formulation protocol around school culture and the influences that affect culture in schools and organizations.

Conversation Links

Presenter Profiles

Will Ehrenfeld
Will Ehrenfeld


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