In what was the first in anyone’s recollection, the superintendents of the Fort Worth and Arlington ISDs jointly discussed the new norm for education and the importance of alliances between industry and public school. The two ISDs educate approximately 140,000 students.
Fort Worth Superintendent Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner and Arlington Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos were joined by panel moderator Greg Karol, VP of Human Resources at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, for the Fort Worth Chamber’s 16th annual State of Public Education luncheon September 12.
See a photo gallery of the event here. https://www.fwisd.org/Page/20700
Business partnerships/student interns:
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company was described as a model business partner by both ISDs for its ability to align industry and education and accepting high school student interns. “Science, Tech … STEM is our lifeblood,” said Karol. “And high school students are interested in engineering.”
Lockheed, which already had hundreds of employees participate in its Engineers in the Classroom program, began an intern program in 2014 with five students from the Arlington ISD. Today, four of the five are engineers with Lockheed. The just-completed cohort had 13 students, who have all been offered future, full-time positions at Lockheed. The upcoming cohort includes 52 students from four ISDs.
“We didn’t think the student interns would be mature enough,” Karol said. “We were wrong.”
“Listen, learn and lead; we approach every student that way,” Scribner said. “The Board’s mission to us is to prep students for college AND careers.”
Scribner says the FWISD notices business leaders have become more engaged. “You will hear that they are ready. They’re designing systems to get the outcomes we’re getting,” he said. “Students are not problems that need to be solved. They are assets that need to be invested in.
“In every corner of Fort Worth, students must feel as if they have an opportunity.”
Cavazos said Arlington ISD is not asking businesses for money. “We’re not coming for your dollars. We’re coming for access,” he said. “Open doors for students to have opportunities. When you open the door, you’ll see success.
“Our students are exceptionally prepared. They are focused and they are disciplined. We have a powerful message: Give the students access, we provide the support and resources. With your opportunities, they exceed expectations.”
Education in the 21st Century
Arlington ISD improved its state rating during 2018-19, but Cavazos said, “state tests don’t capture the essence of today’s classrooms: the teacher-student relationship.” He told a story about the first day of classes this year. “I walked into the STEM Academy at Martin (High School) and students were making a fully functional miniature ferris wheel. The first day.”
In the Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center, Arlington high school students take in a wide variety of career and technical fields for credit and certifications. Cavazos said 65 percent of all juniors and seniors take courses there. “Certification is an engagement tool. When students are seeking a certification, they are more engaged in what they are learning.”
Within the Fort Worth ISD, Scribner said more than 2,500 students earned certifications last year. “One student graduated with more Microsoft certifications than his teacher,” Scribner said.
Fort Worth has a variety of course and site options through its Gold Seal Programs of Choice / Schools of Choice. “We’re doubling down on career and technical education,” Scribner said. “We listen to our industry partners and craft our programs to fill their needs.”
He illustrated that by describing an ISD program educating students about drones and an announcement the day before that Amazon was opening a regional hub in Haslet for, among other things, drone deliveries. Amazon estimated it would need to fill 300 positions.
Scribner introduced a dual credit Fort Worth ISD student — Amari Rabb – who attends Marine Creek College in conjunction with Tarrant County College. He spoke to Rabb’s extended maturity level having gone to classes with college students and the opportunity he had to join the TCC Orchestra. Rabb will start college as a junior.
Get Your Interns!
Fort Worth ISD
Fort Worth ISD’s new P-Tech Academies – Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools – are a prime example of how industry partners, higher education partners, and educational leaders can come together to give students the academic, technical, and professional skills they need to provide a strong workforce pipeline. To that end, we are looking for businesses interested in serving as a catalyst for our P-Tech initiative. We are specifically looking for those interested in building the future workforce in the areas of cybersecurity, manufacturing, construction, and health care.
To learn more, please contact Peg Murphy at 817-814-2978 or Peg.Murphy@fwisd.org.
The Arlington ISD has a robust internship program – or Practicum Program – that gives students real-world applications as they are placed at businesses in the greater-Arlington community. Since the state-of-the-art Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career & Technical Center opened before the 2018-2019 school year – providing relevant, innovative and rigorous learning experiences – AISD students are ready for these meaningful experiences. Business partners are identified within 16 different practicum pathways offered at the CTC then students are paired with those businesses for their senior year. The Arlington ISD is always looking for new opportunities for our students and new partnerships that provide access and inspire our students to dream big for their futures.
To learn more, please contact Susan Patterson, director of career and technical education, at 682-867-7400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.