Performance Comparison: HNHS vs. New Tech

Huntington North High School is above the state average in ACT composite scores, graduation rates four years or less, ISTEP English/Language Arts for grade 10, ISTEP Math for grade 10, SAT composite scores, SAT critical reading scores, and SAT mathematics scores. http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/SEARCH/snapshot.cfm?schl=3065. To access this data click on the underlined titles in the “Benchmarks” list located below the yellow and blue bar chart.

New Tech reports some impressive results, http://www.newtechnetwork.org/newtech_results, such as 85% of New Tech seniors applying to one or more colleges with a 98% acceptance rate. However, when asked by the Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) School Board for the New Tech definition of college, the New Tech representative responded:

“The definition of “college” is used loosely to include trade schools, four-year colleges, and other post-secondary education.”

According to New Tech Foundation, “These figures are based on a subset of New Tech schools,” meaning there is presently no comprehensive data collection process. Further results on the same web page report reading skills are strong for ninth graders, coming in from public schools, but decrease the longer students stay in the New Tech program. Could this be a result of having no textbooks in the New Tech model? The New Tech curriculum is web-based  where the student “no longer needs to rely primarily on teachers or textbooks for knowledge and direction.” http://www.newtechnetwork.org/newtech_model (See the heading entitled “Fully applied technology that supports deep learning.”) A notable weakness of New Tech is in the math department, where only 50% of the New Tech algebra I students outperformed comparison schools within their district, only 38% of algebra II students, and 43% of geometry students outperforming comparison schools. The science department fared better with a reported 75% of life science and 69% of biology students outperforming comparison schools, but the chemistry performance was apparently low enough that the percentages were not reported other than to say students “had lower achievement in chemistry.” Do these results reflect an environment that prepares the students for the rigor of college?

In a comparison of results from the New Tech Network versus Huntington North High School, HNHS compares favorably to the New Tech Network.

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2 Responses to Performance Comparison: HNHS vs. New Tech

  1. Cindy Stephenson says:

    Is there data available regarding the SAT and/or ACT scores of New Tech students, and how those scores compare with students of traditional high schools?

    • sgeders says:

      Good question. That data is limited at this time. Of the 62 New Tech Schools 60% have opened between 2009 and 2010. No more than nine of New Tech Schools have been operating long enough to have their students sit for the SATs/ACTs.
      When comparing, keep in mind there are two types of New Tech Schools. One type is schools that have a “school within a school” which is what we have at Huntington North. Huntington North has about 1,800 students with approximately 120 ninth-graders starting New Tech this year. The plan is to add the same number of incoming freshman the following year and by the time it is fully implemented approximately ¼ of the student population will be enrolled in New Tech. Of these types of New Tech Schools in Indiana, the DOE currently does not break down standardized test scores so there is no way to determine which scores are from which “school within a school”. Other schools convert the entire student population to New Tech one class at a time beginning with the 9th graders and add to that base the following year with the next incoming freshman class. It appears these “stand-alone” or “full conversion” schools would be a more effective way to compare SAT scores with comparison schools within their district or state. However, some schools, like Napa New Tech, recruit students from across district lines, making it a bit more difficult to compare apples to apples. A school that has been fully converted with the same student population would be the better choice for such a comparison. Beware of anecdotal evidence that cites only one or two schools to draw a conclusion. Instead, look for evidence from all New Tech Schools, but it may take a few years before there is enough data to run a reasonable comparison.

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