New Tech School Model Efficacy and Effectiveness

January 17, 2019

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COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS

Bergeron, L. (2019, February). Reconsidering research paradigms: using Texas End of Course performance to evaluate innovation in EPISD. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association, San Antonio, TX.

This research examines the impact of implementing project-based learning in 4 schools within schools (SWS) in El Paso Independent School District. Data from Texas end of course performance is used to explore the impact. Sample size: 4 high schools

Methods: Chi-squared testing of end-of-course assessment scores

Year: Academic year 2015-16

Location: Texas

Findings: NTN students consistently and significantly outperformed non-NTN students on biology and English Language Arts end of course exams in Texas. Significantly more NTN students compared to similar non-NTN students met the “approaches performance band” criteria for all subject areas (algebra, biology, English Language Arts).

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, School Within a School, End of Course Exam, Algebra, Biology, English

Hinnant-Crawford, B., Virtue, E., & Bergeron, L.  (2019, April). Equity Pedagogy and Project-based Learning as Instructional Weapons in a Post-Truth Era. Paper presentation (accepted) at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

This preliminary analysis investigates the relationships among equity pedagogy, project-based learning and under-investigated student outcomes. Specifically, this exploratory study illuminates the relationships between student perceptions of exposure to project-based learning and equity pedagogy and their problem-solving abilities, their likelihood to persist, their consciousness and concern for society, and their capacity for civic engagement.

Sample size:  Approximately 230 high school juniors

Methods:  Exploratory study using bivariate regression

Year:  2017

Location:   Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas

Findings:  NTN PBL is strengthening student problem solving capabilities while enabling equity pedagogy.  Equity pedagogy in conjunction with NTN project-based learning is a viable pathway for preparing students to define problems, investigate and determine fact from fiction, as well as formulate and execute solutions.

Keywords:  Project Based Learning, Equity Pedagogy, Problem Solving, Civic Engagement,Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Gordon, M. & Bergeron, L. (2018, November). Using Different Data Sources to Address the Same Research Questions: Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Curriculum on Student Outcomes. Presentation at the California Education Research Association annual meeting, Anaheim, California.  

Researchers conducted a study at a high poverty, primarily Hispanic NTN Charter school. This study had two main components; comparing NTN student scores on the SAT and CAASPP with those of the national average, as well as how and to what extent ethnicity and income levels impacted reading and mathematics scores between Hispanic and White students. In addition, researchers looked at the differences in reading and mathematics scores between Hispanic students who received free or reduced lunch vs. Hispanic students who did not. Reading and mathematics scores were based on AP exams, performance on the 11th grade ELA and Math CAAPSP, and verbal and math SAT scores. Researchers also looked at how race effected whether a student applied to college and graduated from high school.

Sample size: 116 students

Methods: Quantitative analysis using an ANOVA of student CAASPP reading and mathematics scores and SAT scores.

Year: 2017 Academic Year (AY)

Location:  Public Charter School in Southern California

Findings:  Researchers found that students from this NTN Charter School exceeded the national average in the number of AP exams taken, scores on both the Math and ELA CAASPP exams, and scores on the math and reading sections on the SAT. Hispanic students who received free or reduced lunch performed worse on both ELA and Mathematics CAASPP exams than White students, but Hispanic students who did not receive free or reduced lunch consistently outperformed their White counterparts. The effect on students applying to a four-year college was independent of race and income level, with 93.9% of students who applied to a four-year college accepted to one. However, results show that there is still an achievement gap present on both sections of the SAT when looking at White vs. Hispanic students.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, High School Graduation, Urban School, College Acceptance, Southern California, SAT Scores, AP Exams , Reading Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Quantitative Method

Bergeron, L. (2017, February).

Examining Student Outcomes in New Tech Network Title 1 Eligible Schools.Paper presentation at the annual conference of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Richmond, VA.

Sample size: 28 New Tech Network Title 1 Eligible Schools

Methods:  Descriptive analysis

Year: 2014 data

Location: National

Findings: NTN schools eligible for schoolwide Title 1 had higher graduation and enrollment rates for the class of 2014 than the national average.  Nationally, in 2014, students designated as economically disadvantaged had a graduation rate of 75% and the college enrollment rate for students from low-income families was 58%. For the class of 2014, NTN schools eligible for schoolwide Title 1 had an average HS graduation rate of 93% and college enrollment rate of 59%.   

Keywords: High School, Graduation Rates, College Enrollment, Low-Income, Title 1, College and Career Readiness

Culclasure, B., Odell, M., & Stocks, E. (2017, July). New Tech Network Interim Evaluation Report: Project Years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.  Expanded Evaluation and i3 Samples.  Greenville, SC: Furman University.

 

       Read the Report

Researchers from the Riley Institute at Furman University and from the University of Texas at Tyler (UTT) jointly conducted a study of four high schools that have recently transitioned into New Tech schools. This study had five components: a fidelity analysis; an analysis of outcome variables; an analysis of college and career ready variables; a teacher survey administered to New Tech teachers in the four project schools; and a culture and climate survey administered to New Tech administrators and teachers in the four project schools.

Sample size:  Four New Tech Schools and a statistically similar comparison sample

Methods: Quasi-experimental design (QED)

Year: 2014-15 and 2015-16 Academic Years (AY)

Location: Southeastern United States

Findings:The AY 2014-15 report examined NTN 9th grade outcomes.  Compared to similar students, NTN 9th graders outperformed control students on End of Course (EOC) Math and EOC English Language Arts (ELA) exams. This effect remained after controlling for Poverty, Race, and Pre-existing Achievement Level (8th grade state scores). College and career readiness was measured using the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). Analysis of CWRA results indicated NTN students outperformed similar non-NTN students on most sections. The AY 2015-16 report examined 9th, 10th, and 11th grade student outcomes.  Compared to similar students, NTN 9th graders outperformed controls students on  EOC Math and ELA. Compared to similar students, NTN 11th graders outperformed controls students on  ACT composite scores.  In all areas examined (Workkeys, ACT subject tests, dropout, retention, dual enrollment), NTN students either outperformed similar students or no difference was found.  

Keywords: Grade Outcomes, Achievement Tests, High School Graduation Rates, College Attendance, Quasi-Experimental Design, High School, Rural

Related research:

Stocks, E., Odell, M., & Culclasure, B. (2016, October).  Strategies for Handling Unexpected Changes When Evaluating Education Projects.  Presentation at the annual American Evaluation Association (AEA) Evaluation and Design Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Zeiser, K., Taylor, J., Rickles, J., Garet, M. S., & Segeritz, M. (2014). Evidence of Deeper Learning Outcomes. (Report #3 Findings From the Study of Deeper Learning: Opportunities and Outcomes). Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.



       Read the Report

The purpose of this study was to evaluate high schools with a mature and at least moderately well implemented approach to promoting deeper learning and determine if the students who attended these schools actually experienced greater deeper learning than their peers at schools not focused on promoting deeper learning. New Tech Network was one of ten school networks that participated in the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Community of Practice. 

Sample size: 19 high schools across 10 school networks, including 2 New Tech Network schools

Methods: A mixed methods approach including interviews, observations, surveys, student work, and student performance data.

Year: 2014

Location: National

Findings:Compared to matched similar non deeper-learning schools, students who attended deeper learning network schools scored higher on all three OECD PISA-Based Test for Schools (PBTS) subjects tested (reading, mathematics, and science). They also earned higher scores on the state English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics tests.   Students who attended network schools reported higher levels of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, such as collaboration, academic engagement, motivation to learn, and self-efficacy.  Network students were more likely to graduate from high school on time (i.e., within four years), enroll in four-year postsecondary institutions, and enroll in selective institutions

Related research:

 Bitter, C., Taylor, J., Zeiser, K. L., & Rickles, J. (2014). Providing opportunities for deeper learning (Report #2 Findings from the study of deeper learning: Opportunities and outcomes). Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

 Huberman, M., Duffy, H., Mason, J., Zelser, K. L. & O’Day, J. (2016). School Features and Student Opportunities for Deeper Learning: What Makes a Difference? Washington, DC: American Institute for Research.

 

Dobyns, L., Walsh, C., Lee, P., & Cuilla, K. (2012). Impacting Rural Academic Achievement and Economic Development: The Case for New Tech Network High Schools. Napa: New Tech Network.


Sample size:  Two New Tech Schools with an average population of 400

Methods: Mixed methods, measurements of achievement were used in a comparative analysis (by sample design), qualitative analysis of in-person interviews was used.

Year: 2012

Location: Rural North Carolina

Findings: Results suggested that the New Tech model is successful in preparing students for college and career.  Both NTN schools had high school graduation rates of 100%, while the district averages (71% and 76%) and comparison high school averages (75% and 77%) were lower.  NTN students had higher attendance rates and composite SAT scores than the district and comparison high schools.  Business owners consistently described NTN interns as prepared, self-directed, mature, committed, persistent, professional, and curious.

Keywords: College and Career Readiness, Mixed Methods, Rural, High School,
Graduation Rates, GPA, Attendance Rates, SAT Scores

Young V. M., House, A., Wang, H., Singleton, C., & Klopfenstein, K. (2011). Inclusive STEM Schools: Early Promise in Texas and Unanswered Questions (Draft 2011-01).  Dallas, TX: University of Texas and SRI International.

Sample size: 51 academies and 7 T-STEM technical assistance centers in Texas, including “some New Tech Network” schools

Methods: 4-year longitudinal evaluation of the Texas High School Project (THSP) using a mixed-methods design, including qualitative case studies; principal, teacher, and student surveys; and a quasi-experimental approach.

Year: 2011

Location: Texas

Findings: T-STEM academies had small but statistically significant, positive effects in standardized math scores for ninth-graders and in standardized math and science scores for 10th-graders compared to peers in matched schools.

Keywords: Deeper Learning, Outcomes of Education, Transformative Learning, Critical Thinking, High School Graduation Rates, College Attendance, Interpersonal Competence, Achievement Tests, High School, Urban Texas

Gourgey, Hannah. (2009). Case Study of Manor New Tech High School: Promising Practices for Comprehensive High Schools. Austin, TX: E3 Alliance.



Sample size: 1 New Tech High School (332 Students).

Methods: E3 Alliance used a mixed methods approach of interviews and surveys as well as (limited) student performance data.

Year: 2009

Location: Texas

Findings: An analysis of the short-term and longer-term outcome data for Manor New Tech High School indicated that their students were succeeding in high school and immediately beyond.

Keywords: College and Career Readiness, Mixed Methods, High School, STEM Education, STEM Education, College Preparation

Rockman et al. (2006). New Technology High School Postsecondary Student Success Study. San Francisco, CA: Rockman et al. Retrieved from New Tech Network website: https://newtechnetwork.org/resources/new-technology-high-school-postsecondary-student-success-study/



Sample size: 224 New Tech alumni

Method: survey responses

Year: 2006

Location: Napa New Technology High School, California.

Findings: Results suggested that New Technology High School is strongly based in 21st century principles, including the use of technology for communication and learning.  Survey analysis indicated 89% of the responding alumni attended a two-year or four-year college/university or professional or technical institute and 40% of the alumni respondents were either majoring in STEM fields or were working in STEM professions.

Keywords: Survey, STEM Education, STEM Schools, High School, Postsecondary Education, Technology, Urban, 21st Century Education, STEM Pipeline, College and
Career Readiness

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING

Bergeron, L., Boesche-Taylor, B., Gehrke, A., Dugan-Knight, M., Kamdar, S., Vorse Wilka, J., & Gittens, C. (2019, March).  A multifaceted examination of deeper learning in PBL elementary schools:  school culture, critical thinking, and access to opportunity. Paper presented (accepted) at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

This research seeks to understand more about how the PBL instructional model may enable students to acquire deeper learning competencies while positively impacting school culture, and about how the interaction between access to deeper learning and positive school culture may impact overall student outcomes.

Sample size: 17 elementary schools

Methods:  An explanatory quantitative case study research design was used with design and statistical controls to account for school background factors when applicable.  Pre/post design with testing for statistical significance in the change scores, and post-only spring data collection with comparative analysis using ordinal regression were used.

Year:  Academic year 2017-18

Location:  Northwest, Southeast, and Midwest of the United States.

Findings:  The measures used indicate critical thinking gains were made while students experienced a positive school culture.  NTN elementary students made significant gains in critical thinking, and reported higher levels of student engagement, academic rigor and expectations, relevance, instructional methods, and personal relationships.

Keywords:  Project-Based Learning, Instructional Methods, School Culture, Critical Thinking, Student Engagement, Academic Rigor, Personal Relationships

National Center for Learning Disabilities. (2017.) Experiences in Practice: The Role of Project-Based Learning at Warren New Tech High School. New York, NY: Author.

       Read the Report

Sample size: 1 New Tech School

Methods: Qualitative case study

Year: 2016

Location: North Carolina

Findings: This implementation study documented Warren New Tech’s 8 Step implementation process and the resulting benefits for all students, specifically students with disabilities.  The case study enumerated specific benefits for a student with ADHD:  1) authentic project design enabled sustained focus, 2) the longer duration of projects enabled more investment, and 3) the emphasis on a variety of skills enabled a focus on student strengths as opposed to challenges. 

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Case Study, Students with Disabilities, ADHD, High School, Student Skills

Hendry, A., Hays, G., Lynch, D., & Challinor, K. (December 2016). Enhancing Student Learning Through Project-Based Learning (PBL) in a Secondary School Integrative STEM Course. Paper Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Coffs Harbour, Australia.

This study looked at how student learning of an integrative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iSTEM) course could be enhanced when implemented through a project-based learning approach. The primary goal of the iSTEM course was to increase student engagement and help improve communication skills as students move into senior science and mathematics courses. This study also served as an opportunity to engage and educate future engineers in a way that they will experience one day at the university level.

Sample size: 58 9th grade students

Methods: Qualitative analysis including student surveys, recorded interviews, and teacher observations.

Year: 2015

Location: Western Sydney, Australia

Findings:  Findings show that the iSTEM course is a good fit for the project-based learning approach because it maximized student impact of the iSTEM course. Students reported high levels of engagement, skill development, and satisfaction with the iSTEM course through the project-based learning approach. Reported benefits of the course included peer-coaching within groups and student development of their ability to discuss and analyze complex materials to peers.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, STEM, iSTEM, Middle School, International, Australia, Student Engagement

Related Research: Where (or what) to next for the High School ‘PBL’ STEM graduate? 26th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2015 Problem-Based Learning in Secondary Education: Investigating Hot and Cold Learning Outcomes. AERA 2017 Symposium Proposal Efficacy beliefs in a project-based learning setting. Dr. Jose Hanham, Dr. Daniel Lynch, Dr. Adam Hendry, University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee 2015 Hendry, A., & Viney, C. (2012). Repackaging science, engineering, technical and other applied studies curricula into authentic projects and problems. In 23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2012: Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, The (p. 247). Engineers Australia. Hendry, A., Hays, G., Challinor, K., & Lynch, D. (2017). Undertaking Educational Research Following the Introduction, Implementation, Evolution, and Hybridization of Constructivist Instructional Models in an Australian PBL High School. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 11(2), 7.

Ralston, T. W. (2014). Stakeholder Perceptions of the Implementation of Project-Based Learning in Pennsylvania Middle Schools (Doctoral dissertation, Youngstown State University).

This dissertation looked at the perceptions of students, parents, teachers, and administrators regarding the implementation of project-based learning (PBL) in three Pennsylvania Middle Schools. The researcher sought to investigate how PBL in the classroom impacts creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and communication. All three middle schools were members of the Pittsburgh Kids + Creativity Network, a group of K-12 schools that value the goal of infusing creativity into the lives of children. In addition, the researcher looked at how PBL was implemented in each school site, the perceptions of parents regarding PBL, and the advantages and disadvantages of PBL.

Sample size: 3 Middle Schools

Methods: Qualitative methods. Multiple case studies were conducted based on interviews with principals, teachers, parents, and students.

Year: 2013 AY

Location:  Pennsylvania

Findings:  Researchers found seven major themes emerging from the data: 1. Perceptions of Cooperative Group Work, 2. Partnerships with Outside Entities, 3. Professional Development, 4. Education Supports for Parents, 5. District and School Leadership, 6. School and Classroom Environment, and 7. Perceptions of Engagement of Students. Results show that students, parents, and teachers of all three middle schools greatly valued collaboration, partnerships with outside establishments, district-wide professional development, and parental education and engagement with project-based learning. In addition, school and classroom environments for all three middle schools were described as creative, informative, and engaging for all students.

Keywords: Project-based learning, Middle School, Multiple Case Study, Qualitative Methods, Urban Schools, Rural Schools, Collaboration, Creativity, Professional Development

Lynch, S. J., Spillane, N. K., Peters Burton, E., Behrend, T. S., Ross, K. M., House, A., & Han, E. M. (2013). Manor New Tech High School: A Case Study of an Inclusive STEM-Focused High School in Manor, Texas. Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.:  George Washington University Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI). OSPrI Report 2013-01. Read the report.

Manor New Tech High School (MNTHS) was one of twelve inclusive STEM schools evaluated as a part of the Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspirations research that sought to develop a model for how successful STEM schools work. MNTHS was an “exemplar” inclusive STEM-focused school and was chosen for the study based on promising elements in their design and outcomes. MNTHS met the ten critical components identified by the research team, that help students graduate with high academic achievement and tangible skills.  MNTHS met the following criteria:   STEM-focused curriculum; reform instructional strategies and project-based learning; integrated, innovative technology use; blended formal/informal learning beyond the typical school day, week, or year; real-world STEM partnerships; early college-level coursework; well-prepared STEM teaching staff; inclusive STEM mission; functional administrative structure; and supports for underrepresented students.

Sample size:  Twelve inclusive STEM schools, 1 New Tech Network school

Methods:  Mixed methods approach of ethnography, interviews and surveys as well as student performance data

Year: 2013

Location: Manor, Texas

Findings: Analysis suggested that project-based learning created an instructional environment that positively impacted student learning, relationships, and technology use.  The learning community appeared to improve student self-efficacy.  Not only did students learn 21st century skills, but also they incorporated them into projects consistently.  Nearly all NTN students in the research study graduated from high school and were accepted to college.  

Keywords: STEM Schools, STEM Education, PBL, Project-based learning, High School Graduation Rates, College Attendance, Blended Learning, Innovative Technology, Self-Efficacy

English, M.C. (2013).The Role of Newly Prepared PBL Teachers’ Motivational Beliefs and Perceptions of School Conditions in Their Project Based Learning Implementation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

Sample size: Primary participants were 180 non-New Tech teachers and 163 New Tech teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school level who had attended PBL training.

Methods: A survey study was conducted, relying primarily on correlational analyses to provide a general picture of the research problem, and supplementing with qualitative data.

Year: 2013

Location: National

Findings: The variable “NTN” or “non-NTN”, played the largest role in extent of implementation of PBL.  Perceived value was an important element of teachers’ willingness to commit to PBL. The most powerful influence on value was found to be observation of students experiencing high levels of motivation, engagement, or performance. Also, teachers in PBL-conducive environments had higher levels of perceived value for PBL. Schools that provided ample professional development, opportunity for collaboration, common planning time, a flexible curriculum, ample technology, and other resources enabled successful implementation of PBL.

Related Research: Science for all: A new breed of schools is closing achievement gaps among students and may hold the key to a revitalized 21st-century workforce. Scientific American, 3013(2).  This article is from the In-Depth Report Building the 21st-Century Learner. Spillane, N.K., Lynch, S.J., & Ford, M. R. (2016). Distributing leadership in Inclusive STEM High Schools: A Way to increase opportunities for underrepresented students. Kappan, 97(8), 54-59.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Survey, Teacher Education, Implementation, Motivation, Task Value

Ravitz, Jason. (2010).Beyond Changing Culture in Small High Schools: Reform Models and Changing Instruction with Project-Based Learning. Peabody Journal of Education, 85(3), 290-313.  doi:10.1080/0161956X.2010.491432.

Sample size: 395 teacher survey responses from a variety of U.S. public high schools—92 in large, comprehensive high schools, 129 in other small schools and small learning communities, and 174 in four different reform networks (New Tech High, High Tech High, EdVisions, and Envision Schools).

Methods: Quantitative analysis of teacher surveys

Year: 2010

Location: National

Findings: The New Tech Network was categorized as one of the model high school reform networks in this study.  Results suggested that reform model schools “are setting the bar for PBL use and transformation of student culture.”  Reform model schools reported more cultural and instructional reforms than non-reform schools.  

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Survey, National, Reform Model Schools, Cultural Reform, Instructional Reform

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Bergeron, L., Dugan-Knight, M., Kamdar, S., Vorse Wilka, J., Boesche-Taylor, B. (2019, April). An Exploration of the Role of Likert Items in School-Based Survey Analysis.  Paper presentation (accepted) at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

This paper examines multiple ways of designing and analyzing surveys using Likert items in schools, and looks specifically at the results from a survey on school perceptions completed by elementary students.  The analysis compared students’ perceptions in PBL and non-PBL schools.

Sample size: 1,671 elementary students in six project-based learning schools

Methods:  Quantitative analysis of student surveys using a stratified t-test and an ordinal regression

Year:  2017

Location:  US public schools

Findings:  NTN students reported stronger “instructional methods”, the extent to which the teacher uses techniques that probe for understanding and provide effective supports, than non-NTN students.  Additionally, this analysis found that students at PBL schools rated the following items higher than students at non-PBL schools: 1) Does your teacher ask you about your life at home? 2) Does your teacher let you explain your ideas?

Keywords:  Instructional Methods, T-test, Ordinal Regression, School Culture, Elementary School

Zeiser, K., Scholz, C., & Cirks, V. (2018, October). Maximizing Student Agency. (Findings from the final report of: Implementing and Measuring Student-Center Learning Practices) Washington, DC: American Institute for Research.

Researchers investigated the impact of specific student-centered practices, looking specifically at study agency, or the ability to manage one’s learning, and how this can have a significant effect on student academic achievement. The American Institute for Research worked with three New Tech Network High Schools in three different states to determine which teacher practices help or challenge the development of student agency. In addition, they looked at whether these practices are effective across educational contexts and with different student subgroups.

Sample size: 427 survey responses from students from 4 participating schools.

Methods: A mixed-methods study including surveys, focus groups, and Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle data collection

Year: 2017-2018

Location: The Midwest

Findings: Findings for this study were separated into three categories: 1. Teacher practices designed to promote student agency, 2. Contextual factors influencing the promotion of student agency, and 3. Lessons learned about surveying student agency over time. Researchers found that teacher practices designed to promote student agency fell into three categories: student opportunities, student-teacher collaboration, and teacher-led approaches. Teachers identified supportive schoolwide processes, teacher collaboration, and professional development as the main factors contributing to promoting agency. Finally, while most measures of student agency were found to have effective measurement properties within the study, perseverance of interest did not strongly relate with these components.

Keywords: Student Agency, High Schools, Mixed Methods, Surveys, Urban Schools, Collaboration, Professional Development

Surr, W., Zeiser, K., Briggs, O., & Kendziora, K. (2018, October). Learning with Others (Findings from the final report of: A Study Exploring the Relationship Between Collaboration, Personalization, and Equity) Washington, DC: American Institute for Research.

This study explored racial differences in experiences and benefits in four high schools that embrace the student-centered learning model. Data was collected from students, teachers, and classrooms from four racially diverse high schools that emphasized personalization and collaboration in their teaching philosophy. The three areas for measurement in this study were high-quality collaboration, classroom environment, and student outcomes.

Sample size: 892 students, 138 teachers, and 30 classrooms from 4 different schools

Methods: Mixed methods approach including interviews, focus groups, survey, classroom observations, and demographic and academic records.

Year: 2017

Location:  New England, the Midwest, and the Southeast

Findings: Overall, student reports of high-quality collaboration were strongly associated with positive classroom experiences, as well as mind-set and dispositional outcomes, such as motivation, engagement, and self-efficacy. Relative to their non-black peers, black students reported feelings of less relevancy, experienced recurring exclusion and marginalization, and received lower support from teachers during collaborative groupwork. Collaboration benefits and available supports were perceived differently for English language teachers and mathematics teachers.

Keywords: Collaboration, Personalization, High School, Student-Centered Model, Student Outcomes, Diversity, Mixed-Methods

Traphagen, Kathleen. (2013). Time for Deeper Learning: Lessons from Five High Schools. Boston, MA: National Center on Time and Learning (NCTL).

Sample size: Five High Schools, including 1 New Tech Network School

Methods: Single school case studies were conducted.  Researchers conducted site visits and interviews to document effective practices.

Year: 2013

Location: Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, California, Indiana

Findings: The 5 case study schools were successful in creating deeper learning environments because educators restructured how time is used for learning and how teachers use time to build new skills.  The author suggested that a conventional school schedule might not offer sufficient time to support all students in acquiring the full range of deeper learning skills.

Keywords: Learning Environments, High Schools, Urban, School Schedules, Case Study

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL). (2011). Research Report for Fourth-Year Implementation of New Tech High Schools in Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: University of Indianapolis.

Sample size: 16 NTN High Schools

Methods: A mixed methods approach including interviews, observations,  document review, surveys, and quantitative analysis of teacher and student data.

Year: 2011

Location: Indiana

Findings:  Findings suggested that the New Tech Network schools in Indiana: 1) implemented project-based learning with high fidelity, 2) demonstrated consistent and efficient use of teacher and student technology, 3) attained higher attendance rates when compared to similar non New Tech schools, and 4) took disciplinary action via expulsion and suspension less than similar non New Tech schools.  

Feedback: Learning Environments, High Schools, Mixed Methods, Urban, Project-Based Learning, Technology, Attendance Rates.

SCHOOL CULTURE

Bergeron, L., Bennie, B., Boesche-Taylor, B., & Gehrke, A. (2018, April). Student Culture Survey Validation: Creating a Tool to Support Culture Transformation and Equitable Learning Experiences. Presentation at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Researchers revised New Tech Network School’s Culture Survey to provide project-based learning schools with a tool to measure school culture in order to support equitable and effective learning environments for all students. The survey, originally created in 1996, has undergone several revisions based on input from school practitioners. Survey items were categorized into six factors: 1. Relationship with peers, 2. School Connectedness, 3. Rules and Discipline, 4. College and Career Ready, 5. Learning, and 6. Adult Relationships.

Sample size: 3959 survey from 90 schools, grades 6-12

Methods: Quantitative analysis using confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory factor analysis.

Year: 2015-2016 AY

Location: National

Findings: The authors used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to replicate the factor structure of the previously validated Student Culture Survey (SCS).  Both the 6-factor and 5-factor version of the SCS failed to adequately replicate due to poor model fit.  Thus, the authors used exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to explore the true nature of the correlations, and subsequently removed and reallocated several items onto different factors.  They found a new 6-factor structure that emphasized school pride, and found a meaningful relationship between college and career readiness, and adult relationships.  The authors suggested revising some items to disentangle those relationships.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Public Schools, Grades 6-12, Survey, Student Culture, Academic Outcomes, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Exploratory Factor Analysis

Reed, Sherrie. (2015). School Climate in a School Reform Network: How Do Student Perceptions Differ? (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of California-Davis, Davis, CA.

Sample size: Responses from over 10,000 students across 72 New Tech Network schools

Method:  Quantitative analysis of the NTN Student Culture Survey

Year: 2013-2014 data

Location: National

Findings: Differences in students’ perceptions across schools suggested that reform efforts aimed at improving school climate may be more successful with the establishment of new small learning communities as opposed to converting large existing schools. Yet, student experiences differed more within schools than between schools. Reform efforts, then, should focus less on ensuring continuity of experience across schools within a network and more on ensuring similar experiences for students within the same school.

Reed, S. & Lee, P.  (2014, April). Developing a Supportive Learning Culture Across a Diverse Network of Schools. Paper presentation at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA. 

Sample size: 129 schools

Methods: Quantitative analysis of student responses from the 2013-2014 NTN Student Culture Survey.

Year: 2013-2014 school year data

Location: National

Findings: Survey results suggested that there is a relationship between the purposeful development of school culture and the student experience.  In general, the researchers identified statistically significant but low magnitude differences between students of various racial groups, with the greatest differences noted between African American students and all other racial groups.  Statistically significant differences between students in newly founded schools and those in schools with a long history in New Tech Network were evident.

Keywords: School Culture, High School, National, Student Perceptions, Student Experiences, School Climate, School Reform

POLICY PAPERS

Honey, M., Pearson, G., & Schweingruber, H. (2014). STEM Integration in K-12 Education: Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Sample size: 28 programs, projects, schools, and other initiatives engaged in integrated STEM education were evaluated, including 1 New Tech Network school.

Methods: The study reviewed literature on current STEM programs, with an emphasis on those that link multiple STEM categories, to assess which programs could be useful in implementing STEM on a wider scale.

Year: 2014

Location: National

Findings: Two areas of potential impact of integrated STEM were identified: 1) learning and achievement and 2) interest and identity.

Keywords: Policy, STEM Education, Literature Review, National, K-12 Education, Achievement, Identity

National Research Council. (2011). Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Committee on Highly Successful Science Programs for K-12 Science Education. Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC.: The National Academies Press.

Sample size: Literature review

Methods: The Committee on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education outlined criteria to identify and evaluate schools with successful programs as well as develop appropriate data sources from which to make their evaluations

Year: 2011

Location: National

Findings: A New Tech high school was included as an exemplar in this NSF report because it embodied the characteristics of effective schools and programs in K-12 STEM.

Keywords: Policy, STEM Education, Literature Review, National, K-12 Education, Achievement, Identity

Friedlaender, D., Darling-­‐Hammond, L., et. al. (2007). High Schools for Equity: Policy Supports for Student Learning in Communities of Color. Stanford, CA: The School Redesign Network and Justice Matters at Stanford University.

Sample size: 5 urban High Schools, 1 NTN School

Methods: A mixed method approach is used describing characteristics of schools and student performance data.

Year: 2007

Location: California

Findings: These schools, including New Tech High School of Sacramento, demonstrate that personalization and models such as NTN’s serve low-income students of color well.

Keywords: Policy, Urban, High School, Mixed Methods, Low-Income Students, Equity, Student Performance


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