New Tech Network Releases Data Demonstrating High School Students Outperform College Freshmen on Key Indicators of Higher Order Thinking Skills

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2013 academic indicators show significant student growth from freshman to senior years.

The latest NTN results on the CWRA show that these schools continue to do an excellent job teaching the competencies that matter most in the 21st century. - Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap

High School seniors attending New Tech Network (NTN) schools outperformed 68% of 4-year college freshmen with similar backgrounds and abilities on key indicators of higher order thinking skills according to the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). The CWRA gauges student growth and attainment of skills such as analytical reasoning and evaluation, writing effectiveness, writing mechanics and problem solving. Between freshman and senior years of high school, New Tech students grow in these measures of higher order thinking skills at a rate 77% greater than comparison students who participate in the CWRA.

“This is the third consecutive year that NTN seniors taking part in the CWRA demonstrate strong performance. Not only do our seniors outperform college freshmen, but they are showing remarkable growth in the very skills they will need to succeed after high school. This is noteworthy, in part, given that many of the New Tech students participating in the CWRA will be the first generation of college-goers in their families,” said Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network.

New Tech Network is a non-profit school development organization that works with district and charter schools to innovate teaching and learning. The Network consists of 133 public elementary, middle and high schools in 23 states and Australia. Elements of a New Tech high school experience include project-based learning, embedded use of technology in and out of the classroom, internships and dual enrollment in college.

“Preparing students to be ready to succeed in college and ready for high tech employment — or creating their own employment — requires a different high school experience than is typical in America. It demands more rigor, more relevance, and more agency. New Tech results offer compelling evidence that this innovative school model produces high school graduates ready to compete in this century's workplace,” said Tom Vander Ark, author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World, and CEO/founder of

New Tech Network believes that learning outcomes that focus on knowledge and thinking, oral communication, student agency, collaboration and written communication best prepare students for successful post-secondary paths and align with what employers and colleges have identified as essential skills.

“In an increasingly innovation-driven economy, all students must learn to think critically, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and solve problems creatively. The latest NTN results on the CWRA show that these schools continue to do an excellent job teaching the competencies that matter most in the 21st century,” said Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap and the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard.

Additional measures of school success can be found in the New Tech 2013 Student Outcomes Report. At NTN schools, 74 percent of graduating students enroll in college, a level nine percent greater than the national rate, regardless of locale. Almost half (47 percent) of New Tech students qualify for assisted programs including free or reduced lunch. Within the Network, 52 percent of New Tech students are students of color, a slightly larger percentage than national public schools, and many New Tech schools serve a student body comprised of more than 75% students of color.

The CWRA is administered by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) — a national nonprofit organization based in New York City. CAE was established in 1952 to conduct policy research on higher education, promote corporate support of education and increase the number of citizens who go to college.

NTN uses the CWRA to assess 10% of Network schools that represent the diversity of communities and students served. Results show that New Tech schools in rural, suburban, urban areas, as well as mid-size towns across the country, are closing the gap in higher order thinking skills that often exists among students who come from different socio-economic backgrounds.

About New Tech Network
The New Tech design is a blueprint, accompanied by a set of core beliefs, tools, and strategies to help each school fulfill its purpose. New Tech design principles provide for an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated use of technology in the classroom. Through extensive professional development, personalized coaching and access to Echo, a learning management system, NTN empowers principals, teachers, and students to develop compelling, relevant and meaningful learning communities.

NTN is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, which seeks to transform U.S. public education from a world of schooling to a world of learning.

About Knowledgeworks
KnowledgeWorks is a social enterprise that seeks to create sustainable improvement in U.S. student readiness for college and careers by incubating innovative school and community approaches, influencing education policy, and engaging in education research and development. Our portfolio includes New Tech Network, EDWorks and Strive.

To learn more about NTN results: NTN CWRA Results 2012

To learn more about NTN schools: Our Schools

Media Contact:
Krista Clark

Twitter:                        @NewTechNetwork

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