The Muncie Community School Board voted 3-2 to begin the process of building an alternative high school with the help of a California-based groups. The Muncie Star Press has the story:
The [Muncie Community School Board] will now file applications for two grants, totaling $165,000, available to get the New Tech ball rolling. There will be, however, 60 days after the Friday deadline to file during which the district could pull out of the agreement with New Tech Network, an organization that works with districts to implement the alternative education program.
The same vote was tabled during the last board meeting, after [school board member Dale] Basham expressed concerns that he was not getting the performance data he wanted from New Tech Network. Basham again voiced his concerns with the new tech model at Tuesday’s meeting, saying that he was not convinced that students in new tech schools were “showing rich improvement” when it comes to state standards.
The Napa, Calif.-based New Tech Network helps local administrators and teachers open and operate “New Tech” high schools, which emphasize “project-based” learning. There are currently 14 New Tech high schools operating in Indiana, the highest concentration of the schools in any state. The New Tech Network has the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Indiana does not publish school performance data for any New Tech schools because each has been in the state less than four years.