Recent data from New Tech Network (NTN), a non-profit project-based STEM-focused school developer, showed that their alumni stay in four-year and two-year colleges at 17% and 46% higher rates, respectively, than the national average; with NTN college enrollment rates 9% greater than the U.S. average.

Former tech exec Lydia Dobyns oversees the network of 120 innovative schools in 18 states and Australia. Most New Tech schools are new or conversion district schools, only 10 are public charter schools.

NTN was the first platform-centric networks (most will be in the near future). Echo supports the development and assessment of standards-based projects.

The NTN 2013 Report Card showed that graduates from NTN high schools across the country are more likely to attend college and, once enrolled, persist in college at higher rates than the national average.

At NTN schools, 74% of graduating students enroll in college, a level 9 points greater than the national rate, regardless of locale. This data was obtained through the National Student Clearinghouse from geographically and racially diverse high schools in urban areas like downtown Los Angeles, suburban areas in Texas and Louisiana and rural schools in North Carolina and Indiana.

“Millions of high school seniors have received college acceptance letters, but 40% of students who enroll in college never complete a degree,” said Lydia Dobyns, president of New Tech Network. “This should sound an alarm that earning a high school diploma and getting accepted into an institution of higher learning is not synonymous with college readiness.”

Dobyns continued: “NTN was founded on the core belief that public school districts can create, operate, and sustain innovative high schools so that students graduate truly prepared for college and career. As the data from the National Student Clearinghouse suggests, NTN schools graduate more students who attend college at higher rates and persist in college at higher rates than the national average.”

The NTN 2013 Report Card contains findings from the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA), which tests high school students on critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and writing. Data shows that NTN students – including those from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in urban, suburban and rural communities – develop 75% more in “higher order thinking skills” between freshman and senior year than a comparison group.

The Getting Smart team will be profiling several NTN schools over the next few months–particularly the aspects that promote deeper learning.

In the fall of 2013, NTN will open additional schools in five new states. NTN will also extend its work to new middle schools and will support its first elementary school cohort.

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

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