The impact of
New Tech Network

Evidence. Research. Purpose.

Portrait of Lydia Dobins

A Message from our President and CEO: Lydia Dobyns

2020 is a year for the history books. Whether, in five or ten years, 2020 will be cited as the beginning of broad-scale education transformation in the United States remains to be seen. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt, and possibly change forever, how we think about teaching and learning.

We continue to adapt, alongside our partner schools, in the ways we support teachers and school leaders to help create meaningful distance-learning for students. Our nearly 20-year track record of innovative redesign efforts have resulted in schools that reflect what parents want for their children and what education leaders want for their teachers. This partnership model enables rapid change and lasting impact for teachers, students, and their communities.

The foundations of our school model made it relatively seamless for NTN partner schools to switch to home-based learning when schools closed their physical doors. By attending to culture, deeper learning outcomes, and a pervasive use of technology anchored to instructional pedagogy, New Tech Network teachers and students kept the learning going in this momentous and challenging year.

We know that schools are much more than grades and test scores – they nurture and nourish every aspect of our learners’ development. 2020 has reinforced the critical role schools play in our towns and cities. It has also made the inequities glaringly clear and brought these inequities into sharp focus.

When every child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or income status – has access to a meaningful and inclusive learning environment focused on preparation for college and career, we help create a path to a bright future for students and their communities. At NTN, we believe all students are capable of great achievements and acknowledge that schools, by design, play a critical role in creating the conditions for student success.

2020 has only increased our appreciation and gratitude for the 200+ schools in our network. We stand ready and able to help more districts on their unique journeys to transform teaching and learning. We never arrive with all the answers, rather, we provide the blueprints and local communities customize our model to best meet the desires held by schools and the families they serve.

We’re up to the challenge of 2020 and beyond, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with you.

President & CEO

85,000 students

5,000 teachers

25,000+ NTN graduates over the past seven years

Partnering Across the Country

07 Alumni Schools

09 New Tech Teams

09 Australian Schools

164 Member Schools

21 Affiliate Schools

02 Echo Affiliate Schools

11 NTN College Access Network Schools*

221 Total Number of Schools

Number of Member schools

Number of Affiliate schools

Number of NTN College Access Network schools

*NTN College Access Network schools do not all share the same Network membership affiliation and their different statuses are reflected in the total number of schools.

New Tech Network students persist in college at a rate of 82 percent compared to 74 percent nationally.1

New Tech Network high school students had a graduation rate of 95 percent compared to the national average of 85 percent.1

39 Elementary Schools

06 Combined Elementary and Middle Schools

02 K-12 Schools

43 Middle Schools

07 Combined Middle and High Schools

124 High Schools

About NTN and our mission

About NTN

New Tech Network (NTN) pioneers whole school transformation through high-quality project-based learning (PBL). NTN partners with schools and districts to challenge the status quo. Our coaches work directly with teachers and administrators to improve outcomes for students. The NTN school model and tailored coaching and support cultivate a culture of empowerment, discovery, and innovation. Most importantly, students graduate prepared for the demands of the future. Students need to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills; they must learn how to find and apply content knowledge – not just memorize it. When NTN partner schools experience shifts in culture and instruction as part of a comprehensive approach to education, those schools consistently experience positive outcomes for students – particularly students historically situated farthest from opportunity. Educators have access to thousands of resources and develop relationships with other education professionals.

The NTN mission

New Tech Network’s mission is to partner with districts and communities to transform schools into innovative learning environments so that all students graduate ready for college and career. NTN believes that every student and adult has the capacity to learn and to improve and that authentic, meaningful learning is rooted in inquiry, reflection, and agency. Schools are the most powerful unit of change in providing each child with equal access to high-quality education.

NTN Equity Beliefs

When every child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or income status – has access to a meaningful and inclusive learning environment focused on preparation for college and career, we help create a path to a bright future for students and their communities.

At NTN, we believe all students are capable of great achievements and acknowledge that schools, by design, play a critical role in creating the conditions for student success. We also acknowledge that disparities in student outcomes are primarily the result of unequal or inadequate educational opportunities, known as “opportunity gaps.” These opportunity gaps disproportionately impact under-represented students, most specifically, students of color and students living in poverty. We believe these gaps must be brought to the surface and addressed head-on. Left unchecked, systemic inequities will continue to negatively impact students and their communities.

As a nonprofit education organization committed to transforming teaching and learning so that all students can thrive, we are focused on deepening our knowledge, awareness, and capacity around all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We aspire to become an anti-racist organization that contributes to the formation of a just and equitable society, and we recognize that work must start with ourselves and be ongoing and deliberate. While the work is complex, we are dedicated to our equity journey, including persevering through challenges and openly sharing our learning.

NTN students are 27% Rural
NTN students are 54% urban
NTN students are 19% suburban

Demographic Breakdown*


Total NTN StudentsTotal Elementary SchoolTotal Middle SchoolTotal High SchoolNTN School RangeK-12 Students Across the U.S.5
African American/Black
20%20%14%34%0-99%15.5%
American Indian/Alaska Native1%1%<1%<1%0-26%1%
Asian/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian5%6%9%3%0-63%5%
Hispanic/Latinx28%36%30%25%0-100%27%
White41%30%41%45%0-100%48%
Multi-Racial, Other, PNTS5%7%6%4%0-24%4%
Male52%50%52%52%0-89%52%
Female48%50%48%48%11-100%49%
English Language Learners^10%19%9%6%0-79%10%
Special Education^12%11%12%12%0-27%14%
Free and Reduced Lunch^57%67%55%53%0-100%52%

* Demographic categories are aligned with National Cener for Education Statistics (NCES) reporting to enable comparisons.

^ Weighted average percent in Network schools rather than total percent of NTN students.

The Four Pillars

New Tech Network’s decades of experience guiding schools through comprehensive transformation led to the Four Design Pillars. NTN developed these four categories to align the work of whole school transformation and to help school communities understand the overarching goals that impact the work through all phases of the school development process.

Outcomes That Matter:

Student outcomes that prepare all students for postsecondary success. Every NTN partner school utilizes the five New Tech Network Learning Outcomes. The outcomes are: Collaboration, Knowledge and Thinking, Written Communication, and Oral Communication, and the development of student responsibility for their own learning, or Agency.

Culture That Empowers:

School-wide culture of inclusion and belonging for adults and students. Each NTN partner school promotes a culture of trust, respect, and responsibility, encompassing student and professional culture. Students and teachers alike have ownership over the learning experience and their school environment.

Teaching That Engages:

A focus on authentic complex thinking and problem-solving. Project-based learning (PBL) is the primary pedagogical method that all NTN teachers use in their schools. It is the best way for students to demonstrate proficiency on school-wide learning outcomes. PBL requires contextual, creative, and shared learning. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration in order to answer challenging questions. By making learning relevant, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and concepts.

Technology That Enables:

Use of technology platforms to support collaboration and student-centered learning. Echo supports project-based learning and features an innovative gradebook that aligns to the deeper learning skills students will need in college and career. Digital tools, cultivated and aligned content, and a community of shared learning are integrated to create a powerful platform to support student and adult learning.

The Power of Our Network

NTN students and other students in deeper learning schools gained the academic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills necessary for success in post-secondary life and beyond. Students who attended schools focused on deeper learning reported greater opportunities for deeper learning, greater competency in some deeper learning domains, had higher rates of graduating from high school, and were more likely to enroll in 4-year colleges than similar students who attended comparison schools.2

Integrated Learning

Findings from student focus groups and surveys in Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina indicate (with statistical significance) that students report engaging in project-based learning (PBL) and having technology integrated through the curriculum more than their non-New Tech peers.3

Higher Engagement

NTN middle school students demonstrated significantly higher engagement (academic, social, and emotional), student agency, academic expectations, and school satisfaction than similar non-NTN students.4

Enabling Access

NTN PBL implementation enabled access for traditionally underrepresented students to high-quality STEM curriculum, instruction, and learning environments designed to build STEM social capital, dispositions, knowledge, and skills necessary for students in STEM study and careers.5

Professional Development

Data-driven results. Initial findings from the quality assurance review of event data suggest:6

The NTN Approach

The NTN approach to adult professional learning supports and sustains adult shifts over time.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are met during the planning event and sustained through the implementation event.

Overall Experience

Consistent positive overall experiences across learning objectives, facilitation, and resources.6

Download the 2020 Impact Report

Citations

1 School-level information on student enrollment, demographics, and graduation rates is sourced from the schools and publicly available sources such as the U.S. Department of Education databases. College outcomes are sourced from National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). Comparison data is sourced from NSC (https://nscresearchcenter.org tag/persistence/) and NCES (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/).

2 Rickles, J., Zeiser, K., Yang, R., O’Day, J., Garet, M.S. (2019) Promoting Deeper Learning in High School: Evidence of Opportunities and Outcomes. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 41 (2). https://doi.org/10.3102/0162373719837949

3 Hinnant-Crawford, B. & Virtue, E. (2019). New Tech Network Comparative Analysis: Non-Academic Outcomes in Three States. Internal Report. New Tech Network, Napa, CA.

4 Muller, P. & Hiller, S. (2020). Potential Impacts of the New Tech Network (NTN) Middle Grades Education Experience on Student Academic and Non-Academic Outcomes. Internal report.

5 Lynch, S. J., Peters Burton, E., Behrend, T. House, A. Ford, M. Spillane, N., Matray, S., Han, E., Means, B. (2018). Understanding Inclusive STEM High Schools as Opportunity Structures for Underrepresented Students: Critical Components. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55, 712 748

6 Bergeron, L. (2019, November). Leveraging evaluation data to support change management across schools and districts. Paper presentation at the annual conference of the American Evaluation Associations, Minneapolis, MN.