New Tech Network works with schools around the country to transform teaching and learning. New Tech Network’s vision for student success is college and career readiness for all students. This report, produced by the New Tech Network’s Research and Measurement (RAM) department, provides evidence of the impact of the intended outcomes of the New Tech model.
The research department supports individual schools and the network by engaging in a variety of research activities. Research activities can be organized broadly into three types: 1) impact, 2) formative, and 3) quality assurance. Formative and quality assurance research is used internally by NTN and our schools to refine services and inform implementation. Impact research is external facing research designed to document and communicate the effect of an NTN education; impact research is the focus of this publication.
The research studies summarized in this report provide rigorous evidence of different aspects of the impact of the intended outcomes of the New Tech Model. Impact research examines student, school, and learning environment outcomes embodied in the four design pillars: teaching that engages, culture that empowers, outcomes that matter, and technology that enables. The NTN model is comprised of a variety of intended outcomes, such as discipline-specific knowledge, student agency, student collaboration, school culture, and relevant learning environments. In research projects, these outcomes are operationalized as constructs that can be measured and studied.
Some common research constructs examined in NTN impact research include: academic outcomes, nonacademic outcomes, and deeper learning. Academic outcomes are typically measured using tools that are comparable across schools, such as state exams or college entrance exams. Nonacademic outcomes are often measured using surveys, assessments, observations, and student products. Deeper learning is often organized into overlapping, or sub-constructs, like self-regulation, self-efficacy, and locus of control, that are measured using surveys, observations, document analysis, and student products.
The New Tech Network research department employs both ongoing data collection and targeted projects to measure impact, prioritizing sophisticated and appropriate analytical methods. The research department not only conducts its own research, but also partners with external experts to reduce bias and ensure results are rigorous, relevant, and widely disseminated. Ongoing NTN efforts include analysis of high school graduation rates across the network, National Student Clearinghouse data to document college enrollment and persistence, and College Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+) data to document growth in critical thinking. Targeted projects are typically executed by external experts in their respective fields. Consider the seminal work, The Study of Deeper Learning: Opportunities and Outcomes, conducted by Dr. Kristina Zeiser at the American Institutes of Research (AIR) summarized in this publication. Dr. Zeiser is a sought-after expert on measuring deeper learning. AIR included New Tech Schools in their grant-funded work, and we are thrilled to capitalize on this relationship and to share the details of the project with the NTN community.
Each research project, ongoing or targeted, provides a different lens to view the effect of the New Tech School Model. Each study can stand alone or be viewed collectively as a source of evidence of the impact of an NTN education.
LIZ BERGERON, PH.D.
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH