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Adams Central’s New Tech extended 2 years – School board members still have concerns

January 21, 2013

Adams Central juniors Abby Snyder, Katie Carroll, and Jenny Schultz (left to right) talked with the AC school board this week about their experiences with New Tech and also demonstrated some projects. (Photo by Jannaya Andrews)

    Students involved in Adams Central's New Tech (NT) program demonstrated what they have learned for members of the AC Board of Education at its meeting this week.
    Several students participating in NT presented the board with projects they have completed, as well as talking about their experiences with NT.
    Juniors Abby Snyder, Katie Carroll, and Jenny Schultz presented a video the students developed for Business Professionals of America (BPA), which the three students joined this year.
    The video, which dealt with the issue of prescription drug abuse among teens, received second-place honors in a recent video production competition at Blackford High School. The video will now go to the state competition, with the possibility of moving to the national competition.
    The students talked of working together as a team to complete projects, setting goals, and taking responsibility for their schedules. The girls noted that after a teacher gives an assignment, it is up to the group to determine a schedule for completion.
    The board was impressed with the presentations, and commended the students with how well they conducted themselves in front of the group.
    The issue at hand was whether the board would choose to extend the NT program with a two-year contract or revert back to the standard method of textbooks and term papers.
    On the surface the program seems to be a rousing success, with students and teachers alike boasting increased student participation, rising grades and a sense of responsibility.
    What seems to be a concern for some board members is how the system is being monitored and what benchmarks are being set to track the students' progress.
    Brian Tonner, who has long been asking for more information on tracking the progress of students in NT, pointed out once again that no such benchmarks have been implemented.
    Board members expressed concern that teachers and administrators may become lulled into a sense of well-being concerning NT based more on what they want to happen and less on what is actually happening.
    While none of the board members said they feel NT is not living up to expectations, they would like to see more documentation on where students stand under the NT system as opposed to a standard learning system.
    Superintendent Mike Pettibone suggested the board develop a committee to address these issues and work with teachers in following the progress of students more closely.
    The board members agreed with Pettibone's suggestion and voted to extend the NT contract by two years, 7-0.

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