In the midst of all the noise and spin about this week’s election results, I want to make sure you are aware of a very major victory for the Linked Learning field — the passage, by a two-thirds majority, of Measure N in Oakland! Measure N will generate $13 million a year for Oakland public schools, which will be used to expand Linked Learning to every high school in the district, and to open up postsecondary pathways for students.
Measure N, also known as the Oakland College and Career Readiness for All Act, was placed on the ballot by the Oakland Unified School District’s Board of Education and allows the District to collect a parcel tax of $120 on each individual parcel within the District's boundaries, with the funds used for the following purposes:
To increase support for students in college preparatory courses in every high school, to ensure students are qualified for admission to the University of California and other four-year university systems and are prepared to succeed in college (supporting the first core component of Linked Learning: rigorous academics);
To provide work-based learning in every high school, including career exploration, career technical education courses, job shadowing, internships, and job certifications (supporting the second and third core components of Linked Learning: career-based learning in the classroom and work-based learning in professional workplaces);
To reduce the drop-out rate by providing counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and other intensive support services to students in danger of not graduating high school (supporting the fourth core component of Linked Learning: intensive student supports);
To provide programs to students transitioning from 8th to 9th grade to prepare them to succeed in high school, and to students transitioning from 12th grade to college to prepare them for admission to and success in college (supporting Linked Learning’s emphasis on successful transitions into high school and into college).
The measure also calls for the creation of a College & Career Readiness Commission to help guide the allocation of the funds generated by the parcel tax, and to review annual audits of the funds.
This is an amazing victory for the Linked Learning field, for Oakland Unified School District and its educators, and for all young people in Oakland. This is a wonderful story of how to achieve both sustainability and accountability for high quality spread of Linked Learning pathways all in one.