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Back-to-School Season: A Renewed Sense of Purpose, Promise and Possibility

August 17, 2018 | Anne Stanton

At its best, the start of the school year brings a renewed sense of purpose, promise and possibility. All of these, and energy abounding, were palpable this past Tuesday when I spent the day in San Bernardino City Unified School District and had the chance, once again, to see Linked Learning in vibrant action. The integrated vision, spearheaded by Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden and Mike Gallo, School Board President and Co-Founder and President of Kelly Space & Technology, Inc., is inspiring deep commitment and cross-sector partnerships that can turn hope into reality — school by school. Even more remarkable was to see the pillars of Linked Learning — the integration of college and career ready learning in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.

As San Bernardino City Unified’s efforts help us learn more about how best to extend the value of Linked Learning to students just entering the K-12 system, others across the state are helping us learn more about its’ impact and value for students entering our post-secondary systems. As of this summer, through Linked Learning Analytics, we now have thirteen community college districts sharing data with K-12 school districts helping us all better understand how students grow. By adding new capabilities to the Analytics dashboard — namely, the ability to compare a school’s student performance with other schools across the entire collaborative system — we believe educators and their partners will be even more equipped to make data-informed decisions. We hope you will join us and help inform the dashboard’s continued evolution and our collective ability to use data to deepen our collective understanding of what works and why in advancing student success.

On the policy front, we are close to celebrating one more step forward in advancing the “AND’ solution. California Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s AB 3188 — a bill that will empower districts to report how many students are completing both the “a-g” sequence of courses required for college and a CTE sequence — is on its way to CA Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. While such reporting will be voluntary, we are hopeful that this legislation will allow more districts to easily share with community partners how they are integrating college AND career readiness through their Linked Learning pathways. AND, in turn, how their strategies are inspiring the deep, cross-sector partnerships that will help transform futures and communities.

Anne B. Stanton,
President, Linked Learning Alliance
Aug. 17, 2018

Anne Stanton, President of Linked Learning visits the San Bernardino City Unified School District Career Pathways at Norton Elementary, Bing Wong Elementary, Curtis Middle School, Indian Springs High School, San Andreas High School and Technical Employment Training, Inc.