Meet Rashid Ferrod Davis — A Man On A Mission to Create Pathways to Industry

  • 3rd August 20123/08/12
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Today I met Rashid Ferrod Davis, Founding Principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech) to talk strategy. Together, Mr. Davis and I share the same goal, to ignite, nurture and prepare the next generation of S.T.E.M. leaders, especially those educated in the New York City’s public high schools. Aside from being “leaders” in our respective fields, education and technology, we are both advocates for children. P-Tech, is a one-of-a-kind, public-private partnership school, offering grades 9-14, yes 14, meaning all students are required to earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) in computer systems technology or electromechanical engineering technology from City Tech. Mr. Davis was very clear about how he defined success for P-Tech and it’s students, which was completion of the AAS. Why? As the former Principal of BETA, Bronx Engineering & Technology Academy, a NYC public high school, Davis evidenced a series of recurring themes in the life of BETA graduates that went away to college — financial hardship, insufficient support from family, peers and community to navigate collegiate life and complex post-high school choices and inadequate academic readiness to thrive S.T.E.M. majors. Discouraged, promising BETA graduates, like legions of their peers elsewhere in the country, become disinterested in S.T.E.M. majors or ultimately drop-out of college. According to Davis, the proposed “fix” is to extend “high school” for an additional 2 years and afford students an array of benefits including: 1.) substantial “community” support to help P-Tech students navigate college life and industry, 2.) defrayed cost of a post-secondary education, 3.) a culture of academic preparedness, which is instituted day 1 via longer durations of instructions on critical subjects and early exposure to select fundamental subjects (i.e. physics) and college courses (i.e. problem solving and logic).  

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