ECISD looks at going New Tech

November 19, 2010

Each member of Manor New Technology High School’s first senior class graduated earlier this year. They all went on the college, with 82 percent heading to four-year universities, the school’s principal said. Of the graduates, 64 percent were first-generation college students.

“Many of my students were the kind that were always in the wrong place at the wrong time, they would say,” said Steven Zipkes, principal of the school northeast of Austin. “It’s really impacted their work ethic and their life at home and their relationship with their family.”

Manor’s 400-student school, which opened in 2007, is serving as a model for a possible New Tech High School in the Ector County Independent School District, said Randy Talley, ECISD executive director for special projects. The district is looking at placing the school in empty space in the Advanced Technical Center.

Talley said Manor is similar to Odessa in its demographics and socioeconomic makeup.

The New Tech model began in Napa, Calif., 14 years ago after businessmen approached the local school superintendent with concerns that students were not graduating with collaboration and critical thinking skills. Talley said it the concept has expanded to 62 schools across the country, including seven in Texas.