CELL Research Series Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech - Jill Bradley-Levine

 
CELL Research Series Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech - Jill Bradley-Levine
CELL Research Series
Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech

                                  Jill Bradley-Levine
                                     Gina Mosier
                                   Tyonka Perkins       1
CELL Research Series Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech - Jill Bradley-Levine
Letter from Scott                                                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
DeFreese, Director                                                           Letter from Scott DeFreese, Director��������������������������������2
                            New Tech High School is a                        What Is New Tech? ��������������������������������������������������������������3
                            model that rocks teaching
                                                                             What Does New Tech Teaching Look Like?�����������������������4
                            and learning to its very core,
                                                                             Project-based Learning����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4
                            and the implementation of
                                                                             21st-Century Skill Learning �������������������������������������������������������������������� 4
                            the model is unimaginably
                                                                             Findings on Curriculum and Instruction���������������������������������������������� 5
                            profound and complex. To
                                                                             Findings on Partnership Development�������������������������������������������������� 5
                            provide guidance to those
                                                                             Findings on Technology Integration������������������������������������������������������� 5
                            interested in implementing the
                            model, here are some lessons                     How Does New Tech Affect Student Outcomes?��������������6
learned while navigating this immense transformation.                        Findings on Learning Outcomes ������������������������������������������������������������ 6
                                                                             How Does New Tech Affect the School Environment?�����8
When implementing the model as a small learning
                                                                Findings on School Culture��������������������������������������������������������������������� 8
community on a shared campus, do not isolate the New
                                                                Findings on Professional Culture������������������������������������������������������������ 9
Tech program from the rest of the school. Doing so may
create animosity between non-New Tech teachers and              Research Design���������������������������������������������������������������10
students, and deprive New Tech students of vital resources      References�������������������������������������������������������������������������10
available on the larger campus. Instead, invite non-New
Tech students and teachers into New Tech classrooms so
that they witness first-hand what the model is all about. Emphasize that you are not “reinventing the wheel” or touting yourself as
superior: show them that you are just trying something new.

Having proper staffing in place is paramount. To transform the student culture, you must transform the adults who lead it. Therefore,
any staff members who are resistant to the model should transition out of the program. When seeking new candidates, be sure to
write job descriptions that attract top talent and deter traditionally minded candidates from applying. Review candidates’ academic
transcripts to ensure they are proficient in their content areas. Further, seek candidates with entrepreneurial, creative and innovative
dispositions. Finally, ensure candidates have work experience in their fields of study, as it will enable them to develop real-world
applications for the teaching standards.

Find one lead partner with a wealth of resources in the community rather than piecing together small partnerships. This will provide
access to a wider array of resources, the most important of which is human capital. The nature of the model requires many non-
educators to be involved in the school, as one of the main goals of the model is for students to master 21st-century skills. Therefore,
they must have access to professionals who can provide rigorous and constructive feedback, as well as places to practice those skills.
A strong community partner can link you to guest speakers, authentic audiences and internship opportunities. Additionally, such a
partner can be influential in serving as an advocate for the program if there is any pushback regarding its implementation.

Finally, when revising your curriculum, do not focus on 21st-century skills to the point that you ignore other vital skills. The reality is
that students are still assessed by state standardized tests and college entrance examinations. It would do them a disservice to refrain
from teaching the skills necessary to succeed on those assessments. Fortunately, the New Tech model lends itself to integration of
“basic” and critical-thinking skills. To do so, ensure that facilitators integrate test-taking skills, as well as reading and numeracy skills
into high-level, wall-to-wall project-based learning (PBL) environments through scaffolding workshops and other supports.

2
CELL Research Series Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech - Jill Bradley-Levine
What Is New Tech?
The New Tech High School model is                     and responsibility” whereby students        are characteristically smaller high
administered by the New Tech Network                  and teachers are empowered to make          schools located in rural communities.
(NTN), a non-profit organization based                meaningful contributions to school policy   Autonomous schools, often located in
in Napa, CA that developed the model in               and learning. Third, NT schools emphasize   small cities, operate like a magnet program
response to a concern from local business             full-scale technology integration into      drawing students from the district to
leaders that just meeting basic standards             classrooms through one-to-one computing     a campus separate from the district
would not ensure student success.                     ratios, Internet access, and the use of     high school(s). Finally, small learning
                                                      a learning management system that           communities are programs within large
The model features three key elements.                transforms students into self-directed      district high schools and usually located in
First, New Tech (NT) schools utilize the              learners and teachers into learning         urban areas.
project-based learning (PBL) instructional            facilitators.
strategy, which emphasizes technology use;                                                        Implementation of the New Tech model is
rigorous, relevant and standards-based                The Indiana New Tech high school            guided by the School Success Rubric (SSR),
projects; and cultivation of community                implementation has taken one of three       an NTN document that enables schools to
partnerships. Second, NT schools                      forms. Schools that have implemented        self assess their progress.
develop a school culture of “trust, respect,          the model across their whole school

                                                                              New Tech High @                 Indiana Secondary School
 Demographic Profile                                                            Arsenal Tech                         Population
                                                                                  (N=190)                           (N=318,914)*
 Race/Ethnicity
 American Indian/Alaska Native                                                      1 (0.5%)                          1,098 (0.3%)
 Black (Not of Hispanic Origin)                                                   105 (55.3%)                       37,553 (11.8%)
 Asian                                                                              1 (0.5%)                          4,883 (1.5%)
 Hispanic Ethnicity                                                               22 (11.6%)                         21,678 (6.8%)
 White (Not of Hispanic Origin)                                                   54 (28.4%)                        242,582 (76.1%)
 Multiracial (Two or More Races)                                                    7 (3.7%)                         10,954 (3.4%)
 Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander                                                   0 (0.0%)                          166 (0.1%)
 Special Education Participation
 Special Education                                                                24 (12.6%)                        44,010 (13.8%)
 Not Special Education                                                            166 (87.4%)                       274,904 (86.2%)
 Free and Reduced-Price Meals/Milk
 Free Meals/Milk                                                                  132 (69.5%)                       99,914 (31.3%)
 Reduced-price Meals/Milk                                                         23 (12.1%)                         24,606 (7.7%)
 Paid Meals/Milk                                                                  35 (18.4%)                        193,246 (60.6%)
 Limited English Proficiency
 English Language Learner                                                         24 (12.6%)                          8,930 (2.8%)
 Not English Language Learner                                                     166 (87.4%)                       309,984 (97.2%)
   *1,148 (0.4%) of students statewide had no meal status recorded.

 Race/Ethnicity                                                             Free and Reduced Meals
 New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech (NTH@AT) has a diverse                        More than 80% of NTH@AT students were eligible for free or
 student population. By race/ethnicity, almost three-quarters               reduced-price meals/milk (81.6%). The percent of students that
 of the population were students of color (71.6%). The percent              was eligible for free or reduced-price meals/milk was almost
 of minority students at NTH@AT was almost twice as large as                twice as large as the comparison school (46.8%) and more than
 the comparison school (37.6%) and three times larger than the              twice that of the Indiana secondary school population (39.2%).
 Indiana secondary school population (23.9%).
                                                                            Limited English Proficiency
 Special Education Qualification                                            English Language Learners (ELLs) represented 12.6% of the
 Special education students represented 12.6% of the NTH@                   NTH@AT student population. The proportion of ELLs at
 AT population. The proportion of special education students at             NTH@AT was twice as large as that of the comparison school
 NTH@AT was less than that of the comparison school (20.8%)                 (5.9%) and more than four times larger than that of the Indiana
 and the Indiana secondary school population (13.8%).                       secondary school population (2.8%).

                                                                                                                                              3
CELL Research Series Successful Schools: New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech - Jill Bradley-Levine
What Does New Tech Teaching Look Like?
Project-based Learning
PBL requires students to tackle complex challenges, questions,
and problems through the development of authentic products
and presentations (Buck Institute for Education [BIE], 2011;
Thomas, 2000). PBL utilizes standards-based academic
instruction and student-directed, or independent, learning to
foster an environment of investigation (BIE, 2011).

PBL curricula requires students to apply the knowledge and
skills they learn throughout a project rather than projects
serving as a supplementary component at the end of traditional
instruction (BIE, 2011). The entire PBL process is organized
around an open-ended driving question that teachers use to
connect content to current and relevant issues and problems.
Through this process, students develop their own questions
to drive learning, study concepts and information that answer
those questions, and apply that knowledge to products they
develop.

21st-Century Skill Learning
PBL encourages more rigorous learning          resources and revising work, all behaviors    economics at the start of the unit (Ravitz &
because it requires students to take an        that were uncharacteristic of them before     Mergendoller, 2005). Another study found
active role in understanding concepts          being immersed in PBL instruction             that PBL had a positive effect on student
and content related to projects. PBL also      (Barron, Schwartz, Vye, Moore, Petrosino,     motivation to learn (Bartscher, Gould &
enables students to develop critical 21st-     Zech, Bransford & The Cognition and           Nutter, 1995). Elementary teachers using
century skills including critical thinking,    Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1998).        37% of their overall instruction time on
problem solving, and collaboration.                                                          PBL reported that students’ work ethic
These skills increase students’ workforce      PBL also fosters students’ development        improved, as well as their confidence
readiness and foster an enduring curiosity     of collaboration skills. Special education    and attitudes toward learning (Tretten &
and hunger for knowledge (BIE, 2011)           students in PBL-taught classes developed      Zachariou, 1995).
while enhancing engagement and                 social skills, such as patience and empathy
content relevancy. PBL also facilitates        (Belland, Ertmer & Simons, 2006).             Content Knowledge
opportunities for career exploration,          Further, low-ability students demonstrated    PBL also improves student content
technology use, and community relations        initiative, management, teamwork, and         learning. Students in PBL-taught classes
(Blumenfeld, Soloway, Marx, Krajcik,           conscientiousness as they worked in           scored higher on standardized exams and
Guzdial, & Palincsar, 1991; BIE, 2011).        groups (Horan, et al., 1996). In addition,    ability tests measuring problem-solving
                                               students reported enjoying PBL work           skills, and content application to real-
Specifically, students in PBL classrooms       because it gave them opportunities to         world problems compared to students in
benefit from improved critical-thinking        interact with current friends and make        traditionally taught classes (Finkelstein,
and problem-solving skills (Mergendoller,      new friends through cooperative projects      Hanson, Huang, Hirschman & Huang,
Maxwell & Bellisimo, 2006; Shepherd,           (Belland, et al.; Lightner, Bober & Willi,    2010; Boaler, 1997; Penuel & Means, 2000;
1998; Tretten & Zachariou, 1995). One          2007).                                        Stepien, Gallagher & Workman, 1993).
study found that after being immersed                                                        Students were also able to demonstrate
in a PBL environment, low-ability              Engaging Minds                                specific content area skills after taking
students saw a 446% increase in their          PBL improves student engagement               part in a PBL unit (Mioduser & Betzer,
use of critical-thinking skills such as        (Belland, et al., 2006; Brush & Saye, 2008)   2003; Peck, Peck, Sentz & Zasa, 1998)
synthesizing, evaluating, predicting, and      because it places students in real-world,     such as applying measurement skills to
reflecting (Horan, Lavaroni & Beldon,          problem-solving contexts (Blumenfeld,         develop blueprints for a geometry project
1996). High-ability students also saw an       et al., 1991). A study of one economics       on architecture and design (Barron, et
increase in their use of those skills by 76%   class revealed that a PBL unit was            al., 1998). Additionally, students in PBL
(Horan, et al.). Moreover, during PBL          successful in engaging both the lowest-       classes emerge with more useful, real-
instruction, students showed increased         and highest-performing students, as well      world content knowledge that can be
initiative, as they were observed utilizing    as students who were least interested in      applied to a variety of tasks (Boaler, 1997).

4
Findings on Curriculum and Instruction
Research findings show that NTH@AT           researchers visited, which helped students    According to the director, the entire staff
teachers utilize the PBL instructional       hone their collaboration skills. Teachers     decided to “move our math into the hands
approach to teach their classes. During      used specialized collaboration rubrics to     of a teacher who has a lot more experience
the World Studies course, students were      incorporate such skills into their grading.   prepping for a standardized test” when
observed integrating English, history        Further, teachers offered specialized         they thought that students’ end-of-
and geography skills to map the setting      workshops on skills like presentation         course assessment (ECA) scores needed
of a novel they were reading. In addition,   design and etiquette, and offered a full      improvement.
students in the integrated Algebra II and    course on citizenship and ethics.
Physics course were observed utilizing                                                             School Success
math and science concepts to predict the     Teachers utilize various scaffolding                 Rubric Indicators
trajectory of a pulley car.                  techniques to support student learning.
                                             Teachers modeled the strategies and             Curriculum & Instruction
Teachers also designed authentic and         end products they wanted students to            ○○ Teachers use PBL as primary
community-based projects, forming            develop. They also provided incentives to          instructional approach.
partnerships with such local organizations   incite student participation, and reviewed      ○○ Teachers utilize a variety of
as the Indiana Historic Society, Peace       assessments and homework to ensure                 techniques to scaffold student
Learning Center, and Indiana Black Expo.     content mastery.                                   skills.
                                                                                             ○○ Teachers create integrated,
NTH@AT teachers focused on preparing         Teachers frequently checked in with                authentic, and community-
students for the professional world by       students to see if they needed more time           based projects.
integrating 21st-century skills into their   to complete their work. Further, teachers       ○○ Teachers teach 21st-century
lessons. Students were observed working      with specialized skills were asked to work         skills.
in groups or pairs in every classroom        with students requiring additional help.

        School Success                       Findings on Technology Integration
                                             All NTH@AT students were provided             Additionally, teachers encouraged students
       Rubric Indicators                     with Macbooks™ or netbooks to complete        to use digital resources to complete their
   Technology                                coursework and assessments. Teachers          coursework, including Google’s™ scientific
   ○○ School maintains a one-to-             also used many online and digital tools for   calculator, Google SketchUp™, and
      one networked computer-to-             instruction.                                  SparkNotes™, among many others.
      student ratio.
   ○○ Staff uses NTN’s Echo                  During one observation, teachers used         According to the director, teachers posted
      Collaborative Learning                 an Internet application to administer         classroom agendas and lessons on the
      Environment.                           and track students’ answers to an online      Echo Collaborative Learning Environment
   ○○ Teachers incorporate other             quiz. Teachers also utilized clicker sets     so parents could stay updated on what
      digital and online tools to            connected to the main computer in the         students were doing in class. The school
      support student engagement             classroom to enable students to respond to    also hosted an open house to introduce
      and instruction.                       in-class prompts as a group.                  parents to Echo and teach them how to use
                                                                                           the platform.

Findings on Partnership Development
NTH@AT had access to a TechPoint             development activities: “We’ve had some               School Success
Foundation for Youth staff member who        cases where students have really gotten
dedicated her time to developing external    extremely involved with a particular                 Rubric Indicators
partnerships to support the school.          community partner and helped build that          Partnership Development
Therefore, teachers were able to focus on    partnership.” For example, a student who
                                                                                              ○○ School provides access to
developing positive relationships with       was involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters
                                                                                                 college courses through
parents.                                     brought someone from the organization
                                                                                                 postsecondary partnerships
                                             into the school to help with a classroom
                                                                                                 School offers internships
The school hosted an open house for          project.
                                                                                                 through partnerships with
parents wanting to learn more about
                                                                                                 local business.
the New Tech model. According to the         Other students recruited local community
                                                                                              ○○ School supports a community
director, approximately 275 parents          members for a Net Literacy camp hosted
                                                                                                 service learning component.
attended. Two teachers voluntarily publish   at the school. One student continued his
                                                                                              ○○ Staff facilitates positive
a bimonthly electronic newsletter to keep    work with the organization outside of
                                                                                                 relationships with parents and
parents informed about school activities.    school, serving as a summer intern.
                                                                                                 the New Tech Network.
Students also participated in partnership

                                                                                                                                     5
How Does New Tech Affect Student Outcomes?
Findings on Learning Outcomes
NTH@AT students demonstrated high             learning. To facilitate such autonomy,       find the answer more easily without it.
levels of engagement in classroom work        teachers afforded students a high level
and activities, especially when granted       of freedom in their work. For instance,      Teachers also tried to instill a high level of
small rewards and incentives. However,        during project work time, students were      collaboration among students. They not
such rewards were not the only reason         often allowed to listen to music and use     only used collaboration rubrics to evaluate
students participated in class. During one    the Internet. One teacher explained that     students, but also asked them to use
observation, a student raised his hand to     attendance at scaffolding workshops was      their criteria to self-reflect on their own
answer a question and exclaimed, “I just      not mandatory:                               progress in developing other 21st-century
want to answer [the question]…I don’t                                                      skills.
even want any candy.”                         “[We] leave some decision making to the
                                              students in the classroom…especially
When students became disengaged,              as far as instruction goes. We give them              School Success
teachers were able to motivate them by        the responsibility, a lot of the times, of           Rubric Indicators
working with them one-on-one and              [deciding] what type of instruction they
guiding them through assignments.             need. For the most part, they are very          Learning Outcomes
However, teachers reported that most          responsible about it…they know if they          ○○ Students demonstrate a strong,
NTH@AT students did not need such             need to go to that workshop.”                      professional work ethic and
guidance because of their experience with                                                        take personal responsibility.
PBL:                                          Teachers also allowed students to decide        ○○ Students use technology
                                              the order in which they completed their            to conduct research,
“I can give them a situation, or an           project requirements.                              communicate, and create
assignment or a problem where I haven’t                                                          documents.
really instructed at all and they have very   Students were so accustomed to this             ○○ Students utilize their
limited information,…[and] they can           autonomy that teachers faced strong                knowledge and skills in a
address the problem, and they can think       pushback if they did not allow students            community experience.
through it and think about what they need     to manage their learning. For example,          ○○ Students thoughtfully reflect on
to know.”                                     a student spent nearly one-fourth of an            their learning.
                                              observation questioning a teacher about
One of the hallmarks of the New Tech          why he needed to use a four-step problem-
model is student-directed, independent        solving method because he felt he could

6
ECA Performance for the 2010-11 Academic Years
80.0%	
  

70.0%	
  
                                                                                   71.2%	
  

                                          64.4%	
  
60.0%	
  

                                                                                                                                         During the 2010-11 academic year, NTH@AT
50.0%	
                                                    53.7%	
                                                                       students passed the English 10 ECA at the highest
                  49.0%	
                                                                                                                rate (53.7%), followed by Algebra I (49.0%)
                                                                                                                           46.4%	
  
40.0%	
                                                                                                                                  and Biology I (18.6%). NTH@AT students out-
                                                                                                                                         performed students at the comparison school
30.0%	
                                                                                                                                  in all three of the ECA. However, fewer NTH@
                              28.0%	
                                                                                                    AT students passed all three ECA exams than the
20.0%	
                                                                23.7%	
                                                           Indiana secondary school population during the
                                                                                                    18.6%	
  
                                                                                                                                         2010-11 year.
10.0%	
  
                                                                                                                9.7%	
  

 0.0%	
  
            Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
   Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
   Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
  
              (Pass/Pass+)	
  	
  Algebra	
  I	
  	
   (Pass/Pass+)	
  English	
  10	
  	
      (Pass/Pass+)	
  	
  Biology	
  I	
  

            ECA Performance for the 2009-10 Academic Years
80.0%	
  

                                                                                                                                         In 2009-10, a similar pattern to the 2010-11
70.0%	
                                                                                                                                  academic year was found in ECA performance at
                                                                                                                                         NTH@AT. Students passed the English 10 ECA
60.0%	
                                                                             64.1%	
                                              at the highest rate (56.9%), followed by Algebra I
                                                            56.9%	
                                                                      (29.1%) and Biology I (28.9%). Though the pattern
50.0%	
                                   52.4%	
                                                                                        was similar, the percentage of students who passed
                                                                                                                                         the Algebra I ECA in 2009-10 was much lower
40.0%	
  
                                                                                                                                         than the 2010-11 year (29.1% vs. 49.0%). However,
                                                                                                                                         the percent of students who passed the Biology I
                                                                        36.4%	
                                              37.5%	
  
                                                                                                                                         ECA in 2009-10 was larger than 2010-11 (28.9%
30.0%	
  
                  29.1%	
   29.6%	
                                                                   28.9%	
  
                                                                                                                                         vs. 18.6%). Students at NTH@AT outperformed
                                                                                                                                         students at the comparison school in English 10 and
20.0%	
  
                                                                                                                                         Biology I ECA performance, but remained steady
                                                                                                                                         in Algebra I ECA performance (29.1% vs. 29.6%).
10.0%	
                                                                                                                                  Similar to the 2010-11 year, fewer Arsenal students
                                                                                                                  9.2%	
  
                                                                                                                                         passed their ECA’s than the Indiana secondary
 0.0%	
                                                                                                                                  school population during the 2009-10 year for all
            Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
   Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
   Percent	
  of	
  Students	
  Passing	
     three exams.
              (Pass/Pass+)	
  	
  Algebra	
  I	
       (Pass/Pass+)	
  	
  English	
  10	
      (Pass/Pass+)	
  	
  Biology	
  I	
  

                   New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech                                                 Comparison School                               Indiana Secondary School Population

Eligibility for Graduation (As of the 2010-2011                                                         New Tech High @
Academic Year)                                                                                            Arsenal Tech
Algebra I ECA                                                                                                                               When 2009-10 and 2010-11 ECA data
                                                                                                                                            was combined, the majority of NTH@AT
                Number of Students Taking ECA                                                                         125                   students succeeded, making them eligible for
                Percent of Students Passing (Pass/Pass+)                                                            59.2%                   graduation. More than half of those taking
English 10 ECA                                                                                                                              the Algebra I ECA exam (59.2%) and almost
                                                                                                                                            two-thirds of those taking the English 10
                Number of Students Taking ECA                                                                         111
                                                                                                                                            ECA (65.8%) passed these assessments.
                Percent of Students Passing (Pass/Pass+)                                                            65.8%
     Note: ECA scores from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years were included.

                                                                                                                                                                                             7
How Does New Tech Affect the School Environment?
Findings on School Culture
To create a positive school culture,               having to be too stern or authoritarian.                                           School Success
teachers regularly recognized student              Students illustrated trust of their teachers
accomplishments, instilling a sense of             through the comfort of their interactions                                         Rubric Indicators
pride among students. In class, students           and willingness to ask for help.
                                                                                                                               School Culture and
were named to the “A List” or designated
“Employee of the Week.” Further, there             Responsibility                                                              Autonomy
was a “Wall of Fame” in the school’s main          Students were afforded the opportunity                                      ○○ School demonstrates
hallway to showcase students’ college              to serve as ambassadors, or public                                             commitment to unique school
acceptance letters. Banquets were also held        representatives of the school, to further                                      identity through goals and
each semester to recognize high-achieving          empower students and hone their sense of                                       vision.
students.                                          responsibility. According to the director,                                  ○○ School promotes a school
                                                   more than 20% of students signed up for                                        culture of trust, respect, and
Trust                                              the positions, demonstrating the high                                          responsibility.
Teachers and students at NTH@AT had                level of student buy-in and ownership of                                    ○○ Staff empowers students to
a positive, relaxed rapport: “The style of         the school. Students were also entrusted                                       set school rules, policies and
interaction floats somewhere between               with helping to set cultural norms for                                         activities.
formal and informal interaction. It works          the school, with members of the Student                                     ○○ School exhibits pride in the
well for us.” Teachers’ trust in students was      Council and Student Advisory Group                                             school culture, and actively
demonstrated through their ability to joke         meeting with school staff, including the                                       work to reinforce and defend
with them and discipline them without              director, in the summer months and                                             it.
                                                   during the school year to plan school

               95%                                 activities and solve student issues.

                                                   Respect
                                                                                                                            teachers, students often self-corrected
                                                                                                                            their misbehavior, and even apologized
                                                                                                                            to teachers without being asked to do
        NTH@AT boasts a 95.1%                      To further support the development of                                    so. Students were also observed being
     attendance rate, which matches                professional behaviors, teachers offered                                 respectful to visitors.
      the Indiana Secondary School                 workshops and elective courses on
    Population and is 7% higher than               citizenship and ethics. As a result, students                            Student data indicated that NTH@AT
          its comparison school.                   were observed exhibiting mature behavior                                 students were both more likely to attend
                                                   during observations. Out of respect for                                  class and less likely to get into trouble.

                                                                                                       Suspensions
More Engaged = Better Behaved                   70.0%	
  
Students in a New Tech environment
have fewer disciplinary issues than             60.0%	
  
students in a traditional school.                                                    59.7%	
  
Despite the popular conceptions of              50.0%	
  
most urban schools, NTH@AT shows
significantly fewer behavioral issues
                                                40.0%	
  
than its comparison school. While
still slightly above the state average,
NTH@AT students are 40% less likely             30.0%	
  
to receive in-school suspensions than                                                                                                                 28.3%	
  
students at the comparison school, and          20.0%	
  
15% less likely to receive out-of-school                               19.5%	
  
suspensions.                                    10.0%	
                                                                                12.6%	
                      11.5%	
  
                                                                                                     9.9%	
  

                                                 0.0%	
  
                                                            Total	
  number	
  of	
  students	
  given	
  in-­‐school	
       Total	
  number	
  of	
  students	
  given	
  out-­‐of-­‐
                                                                               suspensions	
                                              school	
  suspensions	
  

            New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech                         Comparison School                                      Indiana Secondary School Population

8
Findings on Professional Culture
Opportunities for teacher collaboration                  Teachers experienced this type of                         classrooms. Moreover, when teachers saw
and leadership occurred frequently at                    autonomy outside of their classrooms,                     students struggling, whether with course
NTH@AT. Teachers across multiple                         as well, and they noted this as one of the                content or personal issues, they made time
content areas often collaborated to                      main reasons they enjoyed working at                      to help them. As one teacher shared, the
develop lesson plans and deliver course                  NTH@AT. According to several teachers,                    school has “really become a place where
content. The “co-teachers” of these                      the director utilized a “distributive                     kids come for resources beyond what you
integrated courses were mindful to give                  leadership style,” which enabled them to                  would normally ask a teacher for.”
each other enough time to instruct in                    “formally and informally take on roles…
their individual subjects. They also used                [and] take sole ownership of multiple
formative and summative student data                     programs.” One teacher identified this                           School Success
to inform instruction and ensure content                 practice as one of the main contributors to                     Rubric Indicators
was fully absorbed. For example, during                  the school’s success:
one observation, two co-teachers decided                                                                             Professional Culture
to change their plans for the day and                    “I think that one of the things that                        ○○ Staff members collaborate
offer a workshop since students seemed                   make[s] New Tech so successful is that                         and share in school decision-
to be struggling with the content on an                  our [director] gives us a lot of autonomy…                     making.
assessment they were giving that day:                    [and] he trusts our judgment…It feels                       ○○ Administrators provide
                                                         good to have that kind of freedom and                          dedicated time for teacher
“We spend a lot of time reassessing the                  autonomy.”                                                     professional development and
way we do things, reshaping the way we                                                                                  meetings.
do things, [and] being flexible about the                This environment helped instill a sense of                  ○○ Teachers utilize data to reflect
design of our classroom and the design of                passion and commitment among teachers.                         on and inform teaching
our school. We all feel like we have made                They often volunteered to stay after school                    practice.
this progress and developed something                    to tutor students, supervise extracurricular
here with our students.”                                 activities, or complete extra work in their

 Teacher Leadership Inventory
 Teachers completed a Teacher Leadership Inventory (Angelle & Dehart, 2010) consisting of four scales: Sharing Expertise, Sharing
 Leadership, Supra-Practitioner, and Principal Selection. These scales measured teachers’ willingness to collaborate with each other to
 improve student learning, the ways that leadership was shared among and between teachers, and the director, teachers’ willingness
 to go above and beyond contractual expectations, and the director’s distribution of responsibility among all teachers respectively. For
 the Principal Selection Scale, teacher responses were lower because questions indicated that the director selected only a few teachers
 to lead, whereas NTH@AT teachers believed that all teachers should have opportunities to lead. Responses for all four scales were
 combined to create an Overall Teacher Leadership Scale.

                                                            Arsenal Tech                Overall New Tech
 Teacher Survey Scales: Arsenal Tech                           (N=5)                        (N=105)
                                                                                                                     Results
 Compared to All Indiana New Tech                                                                                    Teachers at NTH@AT experienced a
 Schools                                                                     Mean                                    more collaborative culture compared
                                                                      (standard deviation)*                          to all Indiana New Tech high schools.
                                                                  4.24                           4.13                Additionally, teachers were more likely
 Sharing Expertise Scale
                                                                 (0.26)                         (0.66)               to share expertise and strategize with
                                                                  4.42                           3.82                other teachers compared to all Indiana
 Sharing Leadership Scale                                                                                            New Tech high school teachers. The
                                                                 (0.21)                         (0.82)
                                                                                                                     same survey reported that NTH@AT
                                                                  3.60                           3.87                teachers were more proactive about
 Supra-Practitioner Scale
                                                                 (0.76)                         (0.79)               their professional development and
                                                                  2.13                           2.53                willing to put in more time outside of
 Principal Selection Scale
                                                                 (0.38)                         (0.65)               school hours to improve their school
                                                                  4.03                           3.82                compared to all Indiana New Tech high
 Overall Teacher Leadership Scale**                                                                                  school teachers.
                                                                 (0.17)                         (0.57)
Note: The Overall New Tech Scores include Arsenal Tech. The mean was used to replace missing responses
*1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neutral; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree
**Scores from the Principal Selection scale were reversed when creating this scale because low scores
corresponded with a more positive rating in teacher leadership, in contrast to the other indicators where a high
score was associated with a more positive perspective of teacher leadership

                                                                                                                                                            9
Research Design
This study utilized a mixed methods              grades in core content areas, and state         of participant experiences within each
case study approach (Creswell, 2012),            assessment results. Only students enrolled      component. Each observation was an
examining the implementation of the New          80% of the school year or more were             average of 60 to 90 minutes.
Tech model at Arsenal Tech High School.          included in the sample. The rationale for
The aim of the study was to explore the          this value is that it is the logical midpoint   Formal interviews were conducted
successes and challenges of the school in        between federal and state accountability        with NTH@AT teachers and school
implementing the model, and to provide           enrollment guidelines, with the state           administrators. Interviews were conducted
feedback with the intent of addressing           guideline being 70% enrollment and the          over the phone and in person, and lasted
obstacles with progressive solutions.            federal guideline being 90% enrollment.         approximately 20 to 50 minutes. Each
                                                 Student data was compared to one other          interview followed a semi-structured
Data Collection Methods                          school. This comparison school had a            protocol and enabled researchers to
Multiple measures of data collection             similar demographic profile to NTH@AT.          compare similarities and differences
were employed, including a review of                                                             between stakeholder expectations of the
pertinent documents, school/classroom            Classroom observations focused on               New Tech model and their experiences.
observations, student focus groups,              the PBL instructional approach, use of          Sample interview questions included,
and interviews with teachers and other           21st-century skills, and student/teacher        “How is your school culture unique,”
primary stakeholders.                            engagement. Observations were conducted         “How are students involved in the
                                                 from October to March. Researchers              decision-making process at your school,”
Individual student-level data was collected      followed a non-intrusive hands-off,             “How do teachers collaborate and lead at
for the 2010-11 school year, including           eyes-on approach and generally did not          your school,” “What scaffolding techniques
demographic indicators (i.e., gender, race/      participate in classroom activities. Notes      do you use to support the development
ethnicity, special education status, free or     were taken during observations to provide       of 21st-century skills,” and “How does
reduced-price meals/milk status, and grade       both a description of what was observed         your school celebrate accomplishments?”
level), attendance rates, behavior statistics,   and a parallel interpretive summary             The interviews were audio taped and

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10
transcribed verbatim.                          analyzed using codes generated from the         the results of the t-tests and ANOVA
                                               School Success Rubric. Researchers applied      tests, effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were also
The document review consisted of a             these codes to data clusters and developed      calculated, which measure the size of
thorough analysis of both school and NTN       additional codes in order to identify           the difference between means divided
documents, such as entry documents,            patterns within the data. Representative        by the pooled standard deviation. For
evaluation rubrics, and student work           examples from observations and                  the teacher survey, independent t-tests
products.                                      quotations from interviews were selected        were conducted to test for specific group
                                               and contextualized. Chosen exemplars            differences. To analyze differences among
The research team administered                 were re-examined and validated with other       three or more groups, one-way ANOVA
the Teacher Leadership Inventory, a            data sources to confirm unanimity among         tests were computed with post-hoc
17-statement instrument created by             the specific themes and to validate the         analyses performed using Tukey’s Honestly
Angelle and DeHart (2010) to measure           conclusions.                                    Significant Difference (HSD) to identify
the perceptions of teacher leadership                                                          specific differences between groups. To
in schools. The online survey was              The quantitative data included student          better substantiate the results of these
administered through Survey Monkey™.           data, observations, and teacher surveys.        tests, effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were also
Results were compared to the other data        For the student data and surveys, PASW          calculated. The correlation effect size (r)
sources to determine their validity.           Statistics 18 was used to analyze data. For     also was calculated as a measure of effect
                                               the student data, independent t-tests were      size.
Data Analysis                                  utilized to test specific differences between
The qualitative data included classroom        two groups.                                     Finally, linear regression was used to find
and school-wide observations, interviews                                                       significant associations between teacher
with teachers and administrators, and          For analyzing differences among three           experience and the teacher leadership scale
document review. Observation field notes,      or more groups, one-way ANOVA tests             items.
interview transcripts, and documents were      were computed. To better substantiate

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