University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

#8 Rogers & Blytheville Make the Conversion to New Tech High Schools

In The View from the OEP on December 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

rogers new tech highblytheville

In 2013, Rogers and Blytheville became the 13th and 14th New Tech high schools in Arkansas.

  • You can read an OEP blog post about the Legislature approving these schools back in January 2013.
  • You can listen to a story titled Rogers Preps for New Tech School from Ozarks at Large (KUAF, NPR).
  • Read more about Blytheville’s transition to New Tech in this article from Blytheville Courier News.

So…what is a New Tech School?

new tech

New Tech high schools are based on seven principles:

  1. Small school size (not to exceed 400 students for grades 9-12)
  2. Curriculum is based on a project-based learning (PBL) model
  3. A 1:1 student to computer ratio with Internet access
  4. Industry-school partnerships to provide career awareness and professional skills
  5. Professional development for teachers and staff that focuses on PBL
  6. Staffing model that allows for the principal’s autonomy in hiring, a New Tech advocate on site, and an IT Administrator
  7. Physical separation from other school models in order to create a unique identity

New Tech & 2014 OEP Conference

We at the OEP were surprised to learn that Arkansas is one of the national leaders in the number of New Tech high schools (only Indiana and California exceed us). This puts us in a unique position to learn more about the impact of this school model.

matt mcclure

New Tech High Schools will be addressed at our 2014 OEP Conference, with Matt McClure (pictured above) from Cross County New Tech High School (one of the first New Tech high schools in Arkansas) serving on the panel “What Arkansas is Doing
Now” to prepare students for their chosen paths. See our blog post for more details about our upcoming conference.

We at the OEP look forward to learning more about the presence and results of New Tech high schools in Arkansas and also plan on releasing a policy brief in 2014 spotlighting this learning model.

 

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