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KnowledgeWorks and New Technology Foundation Will Combine To Advance Learner-Centered Education Nationwide

Building on Successful Partnership, New Tech Will Join KnowledgeWorks as the Centerpiece of Strategy To Rapidly Scale a National Network of Innovative High Schools Focused on Unique Needs of the Learner

CINCINNATI--(via BUSINESS WIRE)--KnowledgeWorks and New Technology Foundation (New Tech) today announced plans to combine the two organizations. New Technology Foundation will become a division of KnowledgeWorks, supporting the rapid expansion of an innovative, learner-centered network of high schools nationwide. This integration is expected to be completed as of October 1, 2009.

Building on a successful partnership, KnowledgeWorks will make New Tech the centerpiece of a new strategy to provide comprehensive leadership and technical assistance on high school innovation across the country, leveraging a complementary portfolio of cutting-edge approaches to learning that are tailored to the specific challenges of each school and community KnowledgeWorks serves.

KnowledgeWorks’ goal is to double the number of these learner-centered high schools over the next two years, from approximately 100 high schools to more than 200, and to reach 500 schools by 2015.

“Sharpening our focus on the rapid development of innovative and effective high schools represents the best opportunity for KnowledgeWorks to realize its vision of an education system that is highly focused on the unique needs of the learner,” said Chad Wick, CEO of KnowledgeWorks. “Coming together with New Technology Foundation enhances our ability to offer and implement a complementary set of approaches that help re-imagine teaching and create dynamic, relevant learning environments. We are delighted to welcome New Tech to KnowledgeWorks and look forward to working with them to help prepare more learners for tomorrow’s challenges.”

“Over the last decade, New Tech Foundation has demonstrated its ability to raise the bar and provide superior quality education to high school students,” said Barry Schuler, former CEO of AOL and current Chair of New Technology Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Bringing New Tech into KnowledgeWorks will enable us to scale faster and touch far more communities across the country that are demanding our 21st Century approach to high school education.”

As part of KnowledgeWorks, the New Tech organization will be rebranded and organized as “New Tech Network,” recognizing the growing national network of schools that share the New Tech approach to education. Reflecting this change, the organization will be introducing a new logo and website for the New Tech Network at www.newtechnetwork.org.

Combined Organization Well-Equipped to Become Leader in High School Space
KnowledgeWorks’ high school initiatives have focused on restructuring large urban high schools into more effective small high schools and creating successful and highly innovative Early College High Schools. Through its EdWorks division, KnowledgeWorks led the creation of over 70 small high schools across 11 urban districts in Ohio, of which six are early college schools. To date, these schools have increased graduation rates by more than 30 percent and improved test scores for more than 17,000 urban students.

Utilizing real-world projects as the basis for instruction and a 1:1 student-computer ratio, New Tech high schools create a rigorous, standards-based learning environment that allows students to develop a wide range of skills necessary in today’s increasingly competitive and global business environment, including collaboration, critical thinking, and technology proficiency. The New Tech approach also incorporates key parts of KnowledgeWorks’ “Map of Future Forces” and 2020 Forecast, which assess and identify the key forces of change that will shape learning over the next decade. By September 2009, there will be 41 public high schools in the New Tech network with a total of 8,500 students in 9 states.

“I believe the current administration will increasingly come to depend on well-managed organizations like KnowledgeWorks that have the depth and proven experience to provide critical leadership in high school innovation,” said former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. “I can’t think of a better partner to help New Tech multiply its successful model, continue to innovate and, importantly, introduce new approaches to learning to the larger system.”

Recognized High School Expert Monica Martinez Named President of New Tech
KnowledgeWorks also announced that its Vice President of Education Strategy Monica Martinez, Ph.D., who has been working with the New Technology Foundation over the past year as its Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of President of the newly integrated organization. She succeeds Susan Schilling, who will become Senior Advisor for the organization.

Martinez said, “I am excited to be part of such a forward-thinking school development organization, one that truly understands how to help schools become powerful learning environments for both teachers and students. The New Tech approach recognizes that we can excite and engage students and unleash their imagination by integrating technology and project-based learning. New Tech has demonstrated in over 50 schools since 2000 that students embrace learning through problem solving and critical thinking and that teachers welcome their role as the students’ ‘coach’ and ‘facilitator’.”

Martinez guides KnowledgeWorks’ efforts to transform the national education landscape, having overseen the development of new initiatives and coordination of strategic planning based on the organization’s 2006-2016 Map of Future Forces as well as the development of its new 2020 Forecast. She also founded the D.C.-based National High School Alliance, a partnership of more than 40 organizations sharing a common commitment to promoting excellence, equity, and development of high school-age youth.

Sample Video of a New Tech High School:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-klc2KijMG8

Follow Barry Schuler on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/Bschuler

About KnowledgeWorks
KnowledgeWorks, www.kwfdn.org, strives to be the leader in developing and implementing innovative and effective approaches to high school education in the United States. Our work primarily focuses on redesigning urban high schools, developing STEM and Early College high schools, and supporting student-centered approaches to delivering real learning and results in our schools.

About the New Tech Foundation
New Technology Foundation, www.newtechfoundation.org, is a school development organization that supports the start-up and implementation of 21st century high schools. The National Network of New Technology High School Network currently comprises 41 schools across the county, including schools in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, California, and Louisiana.