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Early College High Schools Are Off To A Promising Start

P-TECH — a collaboration between New York City’s education department, the City University of New York and IBM — is a six-year school that allows students to earn both a high school degree and either an associate degree or two years of college credit. Students are paired with corporate mentors, and the best-performing graduates are offered a job at IBM.

The school is part of a larger trend in high school education that aims to be more intent about preparing students for college or a career straight out of high school. P-TECH in particular has gotten a lot of attention since its opening in 2011, including a shoutout in President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address and his visit to the school later that year. The school is particularly notable for having a student body that is 96 percent black and Hispanic, groups that have traditionally lagged behind in getting postsecondary degrees and technology jobs. Eighty percent of its students receive free or reduced-price lunch, according to IBM’s data.