NEW: President Obama to Deliver Worcester Tech Commencement Speech
Thursday, March 20, 2014
“We are honored that President Obama has chosen to address the graduates of Worcester Technical High School,” said Harrity. “As a preeminent leader and advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE), the President’s work and commitment to promoting equality of opportunity for all, will inspire the class of 2014.”
In his fifth State of the Union address, President Obama said, “We’re working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead to a job and career.”
Worcester Technical High School has gone from the lowest performing school in the city -- and one of the lowest performing vocational schools in the state -- to a 2013 U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School.
About Worcester Tech
Worcester Technical High School is the largest of seven high schools in the City of Worcester. It has 1400 students in 24 technical programs within four small learning communities. The demographics of Worcester Tech are: 53% female, 47% male, 63% qualify for free or reduced lunch, 19% are special needs.
In the past seven (7) years at Worcester Technical High School, students’ Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam scores have risen significantly. In English Language Arts, 92% of the students scored in the advanced/proficient categories, an increase of 65%, with a less than 1% failure rate. In mathematics, 84% of the students scored in the advanced/proficient categories, an increase of 49%, with a 2% failure rate. In science, 96% of the current 10th and 11th grade students passed with a 4% failure rate. Presently, the Class of 2013 has a 95% four year graduation rate with a 1.3% drop out rate.
Massachusetts has seen increasing achievement gaps between white students and minority students. At WTHS, the achievement gap has decreased significantly and in some subgroups is nonexistent. From 2006-2013, Hispanic students had a 65% gain in ELA and a 49% increase in math. Low-income students showed a 64% gain in ELA and a 50% increase in math. In addition, black students had a 48% gain in ELA and a 32% increase in math
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