Fresno Unified school impresses state's top education leader

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The state's top education leader got a firsthand look at a unique high school right here in the Central Valley.

The Phillip J. Patino School of Entrepreneurship is one the smallest schools in Fresno Unified, but the school that just opened back in 2015 is catching the attention of leaders in Sacramento.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson took a tour of the 10th through 12th-grade school that's tailored to the business-minded students Tuesday afternoon.

"It is the best that I have ever seen in the state in terms of an entrepreneurial approach," he said. "Getting the students involved in teamwork, in investment plans, figuring out market shares and targeting their audience; it's smart."

Torlakson learned about the entrepreneurship program when met Patino school principal Brett Taylor at an education conference. The school applies subjects like English and science to concepts of business and marketing.

"Our goal is not to just have one class where you get to experience a career setting but every class is applying to what they want to be able to pursue in a business world," Taylor said.

The entrepreneurship high school relies on computers and laptops in the classroom.

Torlakson says students who go into the business world are going to need to know how to use the various types of education technology that will actually be business technology later on.

"Technology used well as a tool is a game changer," he said. "It is a wonderful way to help learning occur and students get to work on the equipment they are going to work on in the real world."

Torlakson plans to show the idea of Patino to leaders to Sacramento and hopes to expand it statewide.

The school will add 150 10th grade students next year, and it will also have its first graduating class.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.