Darrell Steinberg Elected Chair of Linked Learning Alliance Board of Directors; Announces 2015 Linked Learning Champions

Sacramento, CA – Darrell Steinberg, former State Senate President pro Tempore, has been elected Chairman of the Linked Learning Alliance Board of Directors.  The Linked Learning Alliance Board represents the growing field of Linked Learning educators, advocates, supporters, and students and provides oversight of the non-profit Linked Learning Alliance.

“It is an honor to serve on this Board to help uphold the principles of Linked Learning in practice, policy, and community,” said Steinberg. “Linked Learning makes high school relevant, interesting, and challenging for students. It inspires young people to see their potential and have higher aspirations. By preparing students for college and career, Linked Learning gives young people the critical leg up to reach their goals.”

“Darrell Steinberg has a distinguished record of advancing Linked Learning opportunities for students,” said Linked Learning Alliance President Christopher Cabaldon. “His vision and leadership at the helm of the California State Senate led to policies and investments that have energized and inspired interest in the Linked Learning approach across California and across the nation. We are privileged that he will continue to share his passion and expertise for expanding high quality Linked Learning opportunities for students, as well as his governance acumen, as the Chairman of the Linked Learning Alliance Board.”

As one of his first official acts as Chairman of the Linked Learning Alliance Board, Senator Steinberg announced the recipients of the 2015 Linked Learning Champion Awards.

“Linked Learning Champions are leaders whose extraordinary commitment and leadership has helped expand high-quality Linked Learning opportunities for students in California,” said Steinberg. “The 2015 Linked Learning Champions are Senator Bob Huff, Chevron, and former Oakland Unified School Board Member David Kakishiba. These are exemplary trailblazers in the Linked Learning movement. Their work and record of accomplishment has catalyzed action, interest, and investment in Linked Learning. Their demonstrated passion and advocacy for Linked Learning as a strategy to advance opportunity and improve students’ futures inspires our entire field.”

2015 Linked Learning Champions  

The Linked Learning Employer, Educator, and Policy Champion awardees will be honored at the 2015 Linked Learning Policy Convening, April 30 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, CA.  The full agenda and featured speakers for the Policy Convening can be found here.

Linked Learning Policy Champion Senator Bob Huff 

Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) serves as the California Senate Republican Leader who co-led with   then-Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg a bi-partisan study mission for members of the Senate to learn about the Linked Learning approach. This study mission inspired and garnered support for the $500 million California Career Pathways Trust program that is incentivizing  partnerships between schools, employers, and community colleges in support of pathways.

Senator Huff has was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Linked Learning Regional Convening in the Inland Empire, where he encouraged employer leaders to get involved in Linked Learning implementation. He also hosted a 2014 district summit on Linked Learning as a strategy for closing the skills gap, and the   need for employers to partner with schools.

Senator Huff has advocated for Linked Learning on the floor of the Senate, and in communication with his constituents, with Linked Learning highlighted news releases and videos issued by his office. He authored legislation, SB 1185, which would have provided school districts with greater flexibility to deviate from seniority-based staffing provisions in order to retain Linked Learning teachers whose particular training and expertise can be difficult to replace, and SB 1082, which would have required schools to ensure that parents have access to information about career pathway opportunities at their child’s school.

Senator Huff will accept the Linked Learning Policy Champion award at 8:40 a.m. April 30 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

Linked Learning Employer Champion Chevron

Chevron provides support and helps build sustainability for Linked Learning STEM Academies and encourages industry partners to engage in aligning Linked Learning pathways with the growing number of local STEM jobs.

Over the past five years, Chevron has invested $7 million in STEM throughout the state of California to support and expand the use of high quality sequenced CTE curriculum in secondary schools— one of the four pillars of the Linked Learning approach—and in student support, teacher professional training and collaboration, and equipment. This has led to an increase in the number of students who are able to engage in hands-on STEM-related experiences.

Chevron invested $2 million in the West Contra Costa Unified School District for strategic planning, Linked Learning coaches, and teacher training and collaboration time to share best practices on implementing the specialized curriculum and designing rigorous, relevant, and engaging integrated projects. A number of Chevron employees also serve on Linked Learning academy advisory boards, mentor students, participate in career fairs, and help provide many other work-based learning opportunities.

Blair Blackwell, Chevron’s Manager of Education and Corporate Programs will accept the Linked Learning Employer Champion Award on behalf of Chevron at 4:45 p.m. on April 30 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

Linked Learning Educator Champion David Kakishiba

David Kakishiba served on the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education from 2002- 2014, and was Board President for five years. During his tenure, the district adopted Linked Learning as a strategy for high school improvement, and David championed the need for schools to serve the whole child and reduce outcome disparities among children based on race, class, and geography.

As Board President, Mr. Kakishiba was the principal author of Measure N, the College & Career Readiness for All Act of 2014, Oakland Unified School District’s successful parcel tax measure that raises more than $12 million a year to equitably place all high school students in Linked Learning pathways or academies. He currently serves as Chairperson of the College & Career Readiness Commission, the citizen’s planning and oversight body for Measure N.

Mr. Kakishiba has also served since 1980 as the Executive Director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, a community building organization that serves a racially and ethnically diverse membership of 2,000 children, youth, and young adults who live in Oakland’s San Antonio, Eastlake, and Chinatown neighborhoods.

David Kakishiba will accept the Linked Learning Policy Champion award at 5:00 p.m. on April 30 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

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