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Gov. Newsom signs AB 1240

October 14, 2019 | Anne Stanton

Today we make a great stride forward in meeting the California public education system’s goal of preparing all students for college and career. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law AB 1240, which updates the definition of “pupil achievement” that schools report in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) in an important way. Before, schools reported the number of students who completed courses required for entrance to our public universities—and separately reported the number of students completing specific career technical education (CTE) courses. This split reinforced a separate standard that has historically isolated parts of our population from higher education and economic success. Now, schools will also track the number of students who do both.

I applaud Assembly member Shirley Weber and Governor Newsom for helping codify what we know works for students. Through the experience of tens of thousands of California students participating in Linked Learning, we know that combining college and career preparation can improve student outcomes and equity. The new metric brought forth by AB 1240 aligns the LCAP with California’s worthy goal of preparing all students for college and career.

By design, Linked Learning integrates rigorous college and career preparation with market-relevant work experiences and student supports. And the results are impressive. Independent, longitudinal research shows that when compared to similar peers, students in certified Linked Learning pathways are more likely to graduate and less likely to drop out. They earn more credits, complete more college prep courses, and they build more of the skills and behaviors needed to thrive in the 21st century workforce. The results are pronounced for students of color, English language learners, and those with low prior achievement.

AB 1240 reinforces the intent of our state’s deep investments in education. And it expands the insight that we gain as we prepare all students for success after graduation—whether they pursue a good paying job right away or first earn a postsecondary degree or credential. We should be measuring our progress on college and career readiness—for our students and for the future of our economy and civic life.