BOSTON (CBS) – A school department crew spruced up the pathway to TechBoston Academy in Dorchester Monday for President Obama’s Tuesday visit. The administration chose the pilot school largely because it brings technology into the classroom and encourages its 800, mostly low-income, students to go to local colleges.
“I would ask him about his college experience and what it was like going to college,” said senior Shaquille Peters whose classmates shared his excitement.
But some students of Dorchester Academy, the public high school that shares the same building complex with TechBoston, say they’re upset they will be dismissed early and won’t be included in the president’s visit.
WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.
“Why were we excluded from it? Like, I know we’re different two schools but I feel like it would have brought us together if we were included in in it,” said Martisse Reid.
“I think everybody should be able to see him because everybody wants to see him, not just the people with the highest GPAs,” remarked junior Nyiimah Dotson.
TechBoston’s graduation rate is 82% compared to 63% for other Boston Public School students. Any student can apply to TechBoston through the Boston Public School’s choice lottery system.
TechBoston Academy was founded in 2002 with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and several corporations. Melinda Gates is scheduled to join President Obama for his visit. He’s expected to talk about business and government teaming up to help American students compete in the global economy.
“I think it’s a very good opportunity for our students to reflect on how much hard work we actually put in,” said Shaquille Peters.·
More than 94% of TechBoston graduates are attending 2 or 4 year colleges.
“Our goal when we created TechBoston was to partner with the private sector for an innovative, high-tech approach to education for the next generation of Boston residents,” said Mayor Menino. “TechBoston Academy has proven that public schools can consistently out-perform expectations,” he added. The mayor said his administration is using the “success story” of TechBoston as a model for rapidly improving all of the schools in the city.