Arkansas Awards Funding for 9 New Tech Network Schools

Share Article

STEM Works Grants Support Opening of 9 additional New Tech High Schools in 2012

Governor Beebe’s Workforce Cabinet announced the recipients of the STEM Works Initiative grants that will provide funding for implementation of nine additional Arkansas New Tech Network (NTN) high schools in the fall of 2012 and continued and expanded support for the first NTN schools to open in 2011. New Tech Network schools will receive $150,000 each while Lincoln and Cross County, as existing New Tech schools, will each receive $75,000.

Last year, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe announced STEM Works, a state initiative focused on science, technology, engineering and math as an area of focus in high school education. The purpose of STEM Works is to help ensure that Arkansas’ workforce will be able to meet the escalating demand for employees in high-tech fields.

"We're proud that a diverse range of schools applied to participate in our STEM Works program," Governor Mike Beebe said. "In Arkansas, education and economic development must work hand in hand to build the strong workforce so important to our state's future prosperity. These schools will be leaders in this work."

NTN is a national non-profit school development organization that works with school districts, principals, teachers, and communities to integrate its empowering approach to learning in public high schools across the country. First introduced in Napa, Calif., in 1996, NTN uses project-based learning, a transformative school culture and a deep integration of technology and blended learning. Students graduate with skills they will need for both college and career.

District recipients of the grants to implement New Tech include Arkadelphia, Cross County, Dumas, El Dorado, Highland, Hope, Lincoln, Marked Tree, Riverview, Russellville and Van Buren.

Following tours of NTN Schools in Texas and Louisiana, Lincoln and Cross Country hosted four intensive exploration events for over 200 superintendents, teachers, school community members, and principals. Attendees were able to observe teaching methodologies in the classroom, take part in student and teacher panels and get a glimpse into the daily activities at a New Tech school.

The Workforce Cabinet visited Manor New Tech High school in Texas several months ago. Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Education Commissioner for Arkansas, and was impressed by the learning and levels of engagement.

“Students were not only learning literacy and math, but were demonstrating skills they will need to be successful to transition to college and to today’s workforce. I saw firsthand students and teachers working on complex and challenging projects that clearly demonstrated mastery of subjects and skills essential for any career,” said Kimbrell.

Additional schools across Arkansas are exploring New Tech for start up in the fall of 2013, several of which have already submitted applications. Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network, commented on the forward vision and high level of interest in Arkansas.

“We have met with more than 40 districts across the state. These districts are interested in re-imagining teaching and learning. The nine Arkansas districts selected to open additional New Tech schools in 2012 represent a cross section of the state’s diverse population. We are excited to be an integral part of Governor Beebe’s far-reaching and innovative plan for educational reform in Arkansas ,” said Dobyns.

New Tech Network,, New Tech Network (NTN) is a non-profit school development organization that partners with districts and organizations to implement innovative schools. With over 85 schools in 16 states, New Tech schools are characterized by a positive school culture that empowers students and teachers, an engaging project-based curriculum, and the integrated use of technology to facilitate relevant, teaching and learning. New Tech Network provides customized strategic consulting, teacher and administrative training and coaching, and access to the Echo Learning Management System for students and teachers. New Tech Network provides a wide range of professional services to help rural, urban and suburban communities build thriving New Tech schools that achieve meaningful student outcomes. New Tech Network is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, which seeks to transform U.S. public education from a world of schooling to a world of learning.

For a full list of New Tech schools, visit our website at:


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Krista Clark