Where does that leave the program, heralded initially as a way to close the district’s graduation rate gap between white and Black students and ensure all students were career- or college-ready when they graduated? It’s uncertain.
From June through early September, the Cap Times made multiple requests for interviews with central office officials about the past and future of the Pathways program. Those requests repeatedly went unfulfilled. An update on the program is likely to come at a future School Board meeting.
Pathways is meant to provide a window into potential career paths in a specific sector through community experiences, job and internship opportunities, early college credit and a curriculum that includes small, thematic focuses through all of a student’s core subjects.
Among the challenges it has faced is being implemented without full buy-in, creating scheduling challenges and skepticism from some staff.
“We’re not going to do stupid stuff,” [Ed] Hughes said. “If this doesn’t work, we’re not going to follow it. We’re not going to turn West into a vocational high school, it’s just not going to happen.”
West did not turn into a vocational high school. But it also didn’t continue enrolling students in Pathways after a bumpy introduction saw lower enrollment numbers than the other schools.