2.1 Million Dollar Grant Awarded to New Tech Networ

February 7, 2011

New Tech Network to expand high school impact by

developing rigorous content aligned with Common Core Standards in math and literacy

NAPA, Calif. – (Feb 7, 2011) – The New Tech Network (NTN), a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, has been awarded a $2.1 million grant to help the high school development organization expand its capacity to create systemic change and focus on teaching that is more relevant, engaging and rigorous for the student.

The grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives New Tech Network the capacity and resources to work with teachers to ensure the rigor of the project-based learning approach used in its schools and to tie those projects more closely to the Common Core Standards being widely adopted by states. Through this grant, New Tech will also begin to develop online and hybrid professional development opportunities that will enhance its ability to provide continued support to teachers as it scale its efforts to transform high schools throughout the United States.

New Tech Network President, Lydia Dobyns, said the school development organization is honored by the Gates award.

“New Tech Network offers a re-imagined teaching and learning environment that high school students find engaging and teachers find empowering. The grant provided by the Gates Foundation enables us to expand our core capacity and partner with public school districts around the country that are committed to transforming high schools to be aligned with 21st Century skills. We aren’t simply aiming for high school diplomas; our model prepares students for post-secondary success, whether that is a community college, university or other training programs,” said Dobyns.

The grant itself has three goals:

 Improve the quality of teacher-developed projects by integrating tasks designed to improve student literacy.

 Introduce a series of math “modules” or problems that help students better develop their conceptual understanding of math.

 Develop a training environment that combines the collaborative nature of NTN Echo, New Tech’s next generation learning management system, with technology in educational environments.

Each of these elements relate to New Tech’s intention to support widespread use of the Common Core Standards in the network’s 62 high schools. The Common Core Standards emphasize deeper learning that better prepares students for college and careers.

Carina Wong, Deputy Director for College Ready from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was enthusiastic about the partnership.

“This effort is geared toward supporting teachers in transforming and targeting instruction, while lifting math and literacy expectations aligned to the Common Core Standards. New Tech Network’s project-based learning approach and strong use of technology make them an ideal partner for this work,” said Wong.