Reports and publications documenting NTN impact

February 23, 2017

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.


 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


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.  


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.

 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.

Project-based learning

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.:  George Washington University Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI).  OSPrI Report 2013-01.

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.  

Additional research reports

College and career readiness

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%.   

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.

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.

Rockman et al. (2006). New Technology High School Postsecondary Student Success Study.  San Francisco, CA:  Rockman et al.   Retrieved from New Tech Network website:

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 orprofessional or technical institute and 40% of the alumni respondents were either majoring in STEM fields or were working in STEM professions.

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.

Learning environment

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.  

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.

Project-based learning

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.

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. 

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. 

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.  

School culture

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.

Policy Papers

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.

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.

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.