Elizabeth González, Youth Program Director, The James Irvine FoundationFollow Elizabeth on Twitter
Rigorous, independent evaluation of the Linked Learning District Initiative conducted by SRI international shows that, compared with their peers, students in certified pathways earn more credits in the first three years of high school, report greater confidence in their life and career skills, say they are experiencing more rigorous, integrated and relevant instruction, and are more likely to stay in their school district through high school.
The evidence for Linked Learning as a systemic approach to education reform is growing. An independent evaluation shows that students participating in Linked Learning are earning more credits, are more likely to be on track with the a–g credits required for graduation, and are reporting greater confidence in their life and career skills than similar peers in traditional high school.
When rigorous academics are combined with demanding technical learning and real-world experience, students are better prepared to succeed. This 7-year study found that participation in the Linked Learning program at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology led to a higher percentage of college enrollments.
A three-year study tracking outcomes for thousands of students across California shows that career focused dual enrollment programs can provide important benefits for those who are underachieving and underrepresented in higher education.
Community colleges must tailor their offerings to address labor market needs and must design programs to be accessible and valuable to students with different levels of preparation and at different stages of their careers.
The statement, “It’s all about the kids,” is a worthy aspiration, but it has not necessarily guided the governance of the state’s school systems. Why is that and what can we do about it?
In 1999, the Foundation launched the largest program initiative in our history: Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL), an eight-year, $58 million effort to improve the educational performance of low-achieving students in five California cities.
An evaluation of the ConnectEd Network of Schools to examine how a multiple pathways approach improves student outcomes. Evaluation findings shaped ConnectEd’s ongoing technical assistance to the Network of Schools and the larger-scale California Multiple Pathways District Initiative.