Napa New Tech High School Hosts California Assemblymember’s Hearing on Education Technology

January 16, 2010

Napa, CA (Vocus/PRWEB ) January 16, 2010 — Napa New Technology High School played host to more than 40 education stakeholders — including teachers, parents, business leaders and superintendents — during a more than three-hour public hearing on education and technology. Attendees were eager to learn more about the success of the New Tech approach.

The hearing was chaired by California Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, who has sponsored and authored legislation to provide students with the digital technology skills needed to succeed in the global economy.

“We must continue to capture the imagination of our students and cultivate their scientific and technical talents by embracing technology and bringing the development of these skills into our classroom,” said Torlakson, a long-time science and math teacher. “Napa New Technology High School serves as a model for teaching critical- thinking and digital-literacy skills necessary for students to be competitive in college and in the job market.”

Napa New Tech High School is one of 40 schools that are part of the New Tech Network, which supports the start-up and implementation of innovative high schools marked by project-based learning in a technology-rich environment. http// [KnowledgeWorks, which develops and implements effective approaches to high school education in the United States, integrated New Tech into its organization in 2009.

Former America Online Chairman and CEO Barry Schuler, a KnowledgeWorks board member who was an early supporter of Napa New Tech High School, said the Napa community inspired a national model when it founded the school in 1996. “Little did they (the community) know they were lighting a spark. The little spark that started in the community of Napa is spreading like wildfire across the country,” he said.

New Tech High schools are currently in nine states, and plans call for the rapid expansion of the approach over the next five years.

Napa New Tech High Principal Howard Mahoney testified about the importance of the culture of trust, respect and responsibility, but noted that his students were the best representatives of the school.

Several of his students at the event confirmed Mahoney’s sentiment, including Aitana Rothfeld, a senior, who transferred to Napa New Tech from a larger, traditional high school . “I was surprised by the trust teachers gave me, it was a big shock,” she said. “The teacher is a resource, but I have to learn. I feel like I learn more here. My old school was ‘do the homework, take the test.’ Here, you have to learn.”

Torlakson, who has announced his candidacy for state superintendent of public instruction, said he wants to make education technology a priority in California’s schools by establishing standards to utilize state-of-the-art learning materials, teaching computer literacy, providing professional development to teachers and connecting our classrooms to the world.

About New Tech Network:
New Tech Network ( is a school development organization that supports the start-up and implementation of innovative high schools. There are currently 40 schools across the country, including schools in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, California and Louisiana. It is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks Foundation.


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