Why New Tech?
Today’s youth—connected to iPods, game systems and cell phones—often wear more technology than some adults will use in a day. They have global connections through Twitter and Facebook, know computer programs to mix music and make movies, and are fluent in the language of text messaging. However, despite their advanced abilities, these children often spend their days disengaged and disinterested in today’s traditional school classrooms.
For years the United States has worked to ensure no child is “left behind,” but now the conversation has turned to ensuring all students can make the grade in a global economy that requires innovative ideas and advanced analytical thinking. The traditional idea of schooling is outdated for the 21st-century world and the students who live in it. New Tech, with its use of technology and integration of 21st-century skills, creates learning opportunities that prepare students to be successful in college and the workplace.
- Napa’s New Technology High School, on which Indiana’s New Tech schools are based, graduates 98 percent of its students with 95 percent of those students moving on to college.
- Indiana’s embracing of the New Tech model was cited as one of 2008’s best news developments on MidwestBusiness.com and has been reported in the New York Times.
- Attendance rates for all Indiana New Tech schools match or exceed the state average.
- In a community where only 10.2 percent of local citizens over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree, Rochester Community Schools now is preparing all students for postsecondary education through the New Tech model.
- New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech actively participates in a mentoring program that pairs students with community and business leaders to provide real-world experiences and expanded support systems for learning.
- Since the implementation of the New Tech model at Decatur Central, the pass rate for freshman biology has doubled.
- All Tier 1 (2007 opening) and Tier 2 (2008 opening) schools have lower numbers of suspensions and expulsions than the state average.
- CELL is conducting an ongoing evaluation of all Indiana New Techs to determine success under the model. Preliminary data is promising.