By many accounts, CTE is the future of high school education. We want college to be the default choice for kids...but that means it has to be a choice. That means we also have to provide kids with other, good choices. Right now, roughly 36% of adults have a college degree (associates or better). Even if we grow that number dramatically...say, 50%, what about the other half? What are we offering them in high school to prepare them for adulthood?
Studying computer science, and related fields, will provide kids with a great avenue to college. But, it will also provide kids with an avenue to a viable career, if they choose to postpone college or decide college isn't for them.
Why the South Bronx? Two reasons. The families with the fewest resources, for example, many new immigrant families, deserve the best schools, the best educational opportunities. I hope to contribute to that kind of opportunity in the Mott Haven community. Second, there are a lot of assumptions about what kids can--and especially can't--do in places like the Bronx or Harlem. It's important to challenge those assumptions with real proof points.
Culture is the first and most important task. If you don't build a positive culture and a culture of hard work with adults and kids, nothing else matters (not curriculum, resources, philosophy, even talent).
Also, I learned that running schools is really, really, really hard. I expect to keep learning that lesson in new ways for as long as I do this work.
Yes! Yes! Yes! If you know great people, send them my way. I need all the help and advice I can get from educators, programmers, or potential industry partners. Really, I want to talk to anyone who is willing to offer advice or help, or who is interested in being involved in any way (as a mentor for kids, as a guest speaker, as a potential board member). ∎