Innovation In Education Prepares Students For Success

In recent years, our educational system has come under fire in the wake of the Common Core rollout, flawed evaluation systems and policy proposals that simply create confusion for students, parents and teachers. While we must address issues within the system, we should not lose sight of the good work taking place in our schools. It’s important that we celebrate the efforts of students and educators and credit innovative programs that are creating a path to success for young people.
This week I had the pleasure of attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new Wayne-Finger Lakes Early College-Technology (W-FLEC-TECH) School in Clifton Springs. The new school offers innovative programs and a fresh approach to preparing students for their next step in education and life.
Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) programs take a cutting-edge approach to education by providing high school students options and access to technology pathways. Students are able to take college-level courses in specific areas that prepare them for highly-skilled, high-paying careers.
America’s workforce is changing. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 136,000 computing jobs are added each year. The next generation needs to be equipped with the skill set that aligns with an ongoing transition to computing and high-tech careers. In today’s world, our children are competing with other job seekers on a global level. More than ever, New York schools need programs like PTECH that provide the information and training students can use now and well into the future.
One of the great components of the PTECH program is the collaboration between various sectors of the community. The program is made possible through a partnership between Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, Finger Lakes Community College, Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers Enterprise (FAME) and local officials.  
By drawing on the expertise of high-tech companies, business executives, college educators and high school teachers, students participating in the program gain insights that help them toward college and career readiness in ways that traditional coursework simply doesn’t provide. 
There will always be issues in the education system which require our attention. The PTECH program reminds us of the core responsibility for education policymakers: develop initiatives that prepare students for success in life.
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, e-mail me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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