It was a historic moment for Norwalk schools on Friday.
"I am honored to announced Connecticut's first P-Tech school," said Governor Dannel Malloy. "Norwalk Early College Academy, through a collaboration Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Community College and IBM, a great Connecticut company."
Governor Dannel Malloy joined local leaders and students at Norwalk Community College to announce that Connecticut's first Pathways in Technology Early College High School otherwise known as P-Tech will open in Norwalk in September. P-Tech is a six-year academy model school, created in collaboration with multinational technology corporation IBM that would enable students to graduate with a high school diploma and associate degree in applied science from Norwalk Community College.
"A high school education is not enough," said IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Stanley Litow. "The jobs that are available and are going to be avail be will require post-secondary education and we have to do everything we can to get student through with a post secondary degree and the ability to hold 21st century jobs."
The innovative public school will service grades 9 through 14 and no tests will be required for admission. When Norwalk Early College Academy launches in September, it will operate as a school within a school, in Norwalk High School. Malloys says graduates will be the first in line for jobs at IBM.
"We were teaching in the past and not in the future and that we needed to play catch-up as quickly as possible and that someone or some company had to lead," said Malloy. "IBM took this challenge on and we should be proud of their acceptance of that challenge and it will encourage me to go from company to company to company to have these kind of urban relationships in all of our urban environments and all of our non-urban environments. It makes too much sense not to replicate it across the state."
"Debt free is what this nation needs in higher education," said senator Richard Blumenthal. "We cannot continue to burden our young people with the tens and thousands that they have in debt when they leave higher education, here they'll have a degree without debt."
The first P-Tech school was created by IBM and partners in 2011 in New York, where thirty percent of students complete full year of college by 11th grade.