While a top deputy chancellor was briefing reporters about this year’s school progress reports, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott were in Midtown announcing a donation by AT&T for a new software engineering curriculum.

The $1.6 million donation to the Fund for Public Schools, the Department of Education’s nonprofit fundraising arm, will pay for a program for incoming ninth-graders at 12 high schools that teach computer programming; paid internships; and events for city programming students. 

Software engineering has been a recent focus in the city’s career and technical education schools. The Academy for Software Engineering, which opened last year in the Washington Irving Campus near Union Square, was inspired by the software program at the elite Stuyvesant High School. In February, the city picked 20 more schools to add a software curriculum.