New Linked Learning Report Focuses on Positive Impact of Linked Learning for Traditionally Underserved Student Populations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2017

Hilary McLean, Executive Vice President | E: hilary@linkedlearning.org | T: 916.248.4848

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Linked Learning Alliance today announced the release of a new report, Access & Equity in Linked Learning, that evaluates the impact of Linked Learning on traditionally underserved student populations: students with low prior achievement, English learner students, African American students, Latino students, and female students. The report findings are a subset of a broader report issued by SRI International based on a seven-year evaluation of systemic Linked Learning implementation in nine districts.

The multi-year evaluation builds on the existing body of evidence that quality implementation of Linked Learning matters is essential to improve student outcomes. To encourage and support Linked Learning pathway quality and continuous improvement Linked Learning Certification and Analytics systems were developed and launched for field-wide use in January 2017.

“These findings show that high quality Linked Learning is a promising strategy for increasing the success for all students,” said Linked Learning Alliance President Christopher Cabaldon. “The Linked Learning Alliance is committed to college and career readiness for all students, and advancing equity is essential to meeting this commitment. We launched Linked Learning Certification and Analytics to recognize, incentivize, and support pathway quality and continuous improvement in pathways so that all students can benefit from the promise of Linked Learning.”

Linked Learning is an approach for transforming high schools to prepare all students for college, career, and life. Rejecting the outmoded and usually inequitable separation of students into vocational and academic tracks, Linked Learning works through career themed
pathways that integrate college preparatory academics, rigorous technical training, work-based learning, and supports to help students stay on track.

Linked Learning strives to provide all students—regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, prior academic achievement, or special learning needs—with equitable access to and opportunities for full participation in a variety of high-quality career-themed pathways.

Access & Equity in Linked Learning, a report on pathway access and academic outcomes for traditionally underserved students describes the successes and challenges the districts have experienced in fostering access and equity in Linked Learning pathways, and compares academic outcomes for Linked Learning student subgroups with those of similar peers in traditional high school settings. The findings include:

  • Students in certified Linked Learning pathways with low prior achievement were less likely to drop out and more likely to graduate from high school than similar peers in traditional high schools.
  • English learner students in certified pathways earned more credits—equivalent to more than two additional courses—and completed one more college prep requirement than similar peers in traditional high school programs.
  • African-American students in certified pathways earned more credits—roughly three courses worth—than African-American students in traditional high school programs.
  • Latino students in certified pathways were less likely to drop out and more likely to graduate than similar peers.
  • Female students in certified pathways were less likely to drop out, more likely to graduate and accumulated more credits and slightly more a–g requirements than female students in traditional high
    schools.

Since the launch of Linked Learning Certification more than 100 pathways have registered to participate in the certification process, including pathways in California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Kansas, and Saskatchewan, Canada.

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