The Linked Learning Alliance brings together stakeholders in education, industry, and local communities to develop and promote state and local policy that supports and expands the Linked Learning approach to high school transformation. This work includes extensive research and analysis of current best practices and opportunities to improve student readiness for college and career through state and local policy solutions.
Below are links to a selection of recent reports that include policy recommendations to advance Linked Learning. If you would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion on this page, please send your suggestions to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pathways to College and Career Readiness: Bringing the New California Standards to Life through Linked Learning examines promising strategies being employed at nine California school districts. While some of these strategies are still being refined, they are already yielding encouraging results, especially with historically under-served student populations. The report identifies eight promising strategies that are being used in school districts throughout California. Some are student-focused, such as the practice of developing “graduate profiles” aligned to Common Core standards that spell out what all students should know by the time they graduate. Others concentrate on the teacher, such as providing structured “release time” for teachers to collaborate with their peers to plan and develop interdisciplinary lessons for the Linked Learning pathway courses they teach.
- Coursework for College and Career Pathways: Dual Academic/CTE Courses is a policy brief from the College & Career Academy Support Network that describes current regulations in California about required teacher qualifications for courses that integrate academic and career technical education (CTE) content standards. The brief also proposes policy options to make these dual academic/CTE courses available to more students.
- Recognizing College and Career Readiness in the California School Accountability System is a report from Soung Bae and Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) that proposes effective approaches that policymakers and administrators can use to effectively use the opportunity provided by significant shifts in school funding, classroom instruction, and student assessment to enact policies that better prepare all students for college and careers. The report also proposes ways that student accomplishments illustrating career readiness can be included in graduation standards and conveyed to prospective colleges and employers.
- Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative provides an executive summary of the fifth year of evaluation of the initiative. Among other results of this ongoing evaluation, data show promising outcomes for students participating in certified Linked Learning pathways, in comparison with similar peers in traditional high school programs. Most promisingly, the study is finding that the student subgroups most frequently under-served by traditional schools who enrolled in certified pathways perform at least as well as (if not better) on credit accumulation and test score outcomes compared with their peers in the same subgroup in traditional high school programs. The full fifth year evaluation report is available here.
- Ensuring the East Bay’s Economic Success: Reversing California’s health care “skills gaps” through Linked Learning, a report from America’s Edge discusses how more than 500,000 job openings are projected in California’s health care industry – and employers will struggle to fill them. Too many California workers may not be prepared to meet the educational requirements for jobs in this sector, which is rapidly growing as demand for health care services increases. To ensure East Bay employers are able to fill the anticipated jobs in health care, a sector with many of the highest-growth jobs in the state, the business leaders of America’s Edge urge policymakers to expand access to Linked Learning to equip high school students for success in both college and career, including careers in the health are industry. If we expect California to compete and succeed in the global marketplace, we must act now to ensure our businesses have the skilled workforce we need.
- Transforming Today’s Education for Tomorrow’s Economy: New Directions for Career and Technical Education in California provides twelve policy strategies for aligning career and technical education and mainstream academics. The paper focuses on developing Linked Learning pathways to prepare students for lasting academic and career success.
- The Linked Learning Advantage: Using Linked Learning to Implement the Common Core State Standards examines how the Common Core aligns with the Linked Learning approach and how Linked Learning can be adopted by Linked Learning teachers, schools, and districts to ensure that all their students are ready for success in college, career, and citizenship.
- Multiple Perspectives on Multiple Pathways: Preparing California’s Youth for College, Career, and Civic Responsibility is a collection of 15 papers that present the results of collaboration between UCLA and scholars throughout California to study Linked Learning.
- The Economic Benefits from Halving the Dropout Rate from The Alliance for Excellent Education provides one-page summaries of the economic benefits to select cities when the high school dropout rate is halved.
- A Model for Success: CART’s Linked Learning Program Increases College Enrollment discusses a seven-year study based on data from the California Partnership for Achieving Student Success.
- Public Opinion Poll Results Cite High School Improvement as Priority Issue discusses the results of a national bipartisan public opinion poll released by the Alliance for Excellent Education that show bipartisan support for improving high school education and that re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is a voting issue for more than eight in ten voters.
- Reforming Education in California: A Guide for Candidates and Citizens from Policy Analysis for California Education includes recommendations for using Linked Learning to prepare students for college and career and transform education reform in California.
- Preparing Students for College and Career: Linked Learning in California by the Alliance for Excellent Education summarizes the Linked Learning approach and outlines promising models, implementation challenges, growing support for the approach, and implications for federal policy.
- Career Academies: A Proven Strategy to Prepare High School Students for College and Career provides quantitative evidence of student success in Linked Learning pathways and similar programs.
- Multiple Pathways* to Student Success: Envisioning the New California High School was released as part of the California Department of Education’s Assembly Bill (AB) 2648. It was the first study on the feasibility of expanding the Linked Learning approach statewide. The report was grounded in research on the educational needs of students in California’s high schools and is a great starting point for understanding the context and need for Linked Learning. Included in the report are many policy recommendations and a call for a transformational high schools pilot program. As a direct result of these recommendations, the state Linked Learning Pilot Program, authorized in 2011 by Assembly Bill 790, is now being implemented in 63 districts and county offices of education across the state.*Linked Learning was formerly known in California as “multiple pathways.” After extensive public opinion research, the schools and organizations implementing this approach selected the Linked Learning name to more clearly convey its unique benefits to students, educators, parents, and policymakers.
- Transforming the High School Experience: How New York City’s New Small Schools Are Boosting Student Achievement and Graduation Rates from MDRC is a comparative study that shows students enrolled in innovative smaller schools of their choice are more likely to be on track to graduate in four years than their peers.
- The Status of the Teaching Profession (chapters 4 & 5) from the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning outlines the skills and knowledge teachers need to succeed in redesigned schools and the preparation and ongoing professional development needed to support their work.
- California’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st Century Economy from the Workforce Alliance discusses the importance of developing a strong middle-skill workforce to reach the state’s full economic potential.
- Universal Access to a Quality Education: Research and Recommendations for the Elimination of Curricular Stratification examines curricular tracking and provides information from case studies of a school, district, and nation that abolished tracking, provided a common challenging curriculum, and improved achievement. The brief provides recommendations for policy makers to support implementation of such changes.
- Work-Based Learning in California: Opportunities and Models for Expansion from WestEd examines work-based learning in California, detailing implementation strategies and opportunities for expanding the approach to engage more students.
- Evidence from California Partnership Academies: One Model of Pathways describes three key pieces of evidence supporting adoption of the Linked Learning approach.
- Supporting High Quality Career and Technical Education through Federal and State Policy discusses how state and federal policy can advance CTE in education reform (The American Youth Policy Forum).
- ACSA Career Technical Education Position Paper states the position and policy recommendations of the Association of California School Administrators for CTE programs to address the achievement gap and high dropout rates.
- Expanding Pathways: Transforming High School Education in California discusses what Linked Learning is and best practices for implementation and expanding pathways statewide.
Older Policy Reports
- Career Technical Education: Creating Options for High School Success (2007) discusses the results and consequential policy recommendations of a Little Hoover Commission study about career technical education.
- Governance Matters (2006) is a report designed for school board members, which synthesizes the findings of the High School Reform Task Force of the California School Board Association.
- Multiple Pathways and State Policy: Toward Education and Training Beyond High School (2003) by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education looks at the social and economic challenges in increasing higher education access.