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In This Moment (8/13): Perkins V

August 13, 2020 | Iish Ryaru

This week, the California Department of Education (CDE) announced that the U.S. Department of Education approved California’s Perkins V State Plan, which outlines activities to strengthen and expand high quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the state.

The CDE also created a teacher survey to collect examples of distance learning successes from last school year. The practices and strategies collected will be used to support innovative virtual instruction efforts throughout California. This is a great opportunity to highlight Linked Learning innovations.

In other news, public-private partnerships are helping to close the digital divide, increasing the number of devices and online accessibility for students as they get ready for the start of school.

If you have additional policy updates that would be valuable for the Linked Learning field, please share them with Iish@LinkedLearning.org.


California 2020-23 Federal Perkins V State Plan Approved

On August 3, 2020, the US Department of Education (ED) approved California's Federal Perkins V State Plan for 2020-2023. Perkins V, or the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, required states to submit a State Plan to ED. Last spring, the California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee (CWPJAC) submitted California’s Plan. The plan detailed steps to improve, enhance, and expand high-quality CTE programs throughout the state. According to the plan, CWPJAC’s priority is to pivot toward purposeful integration of the student experience across systems and into college and career while addressing industry needs by incorporating the following policy principles (summarized below; full language accessible here):

  • Focus on a Student-Centered Delivery of Services for all K–14+ college and career pathways
  • Promote Equity and Access by eliminating institutional barriers and achievement gaps
  • Achieve Systems Alignment in the economic regions of the State in order to create a comprehensive and well-defined system of articulation of high-quality K–14+ pathway courses (i.e., both in-person and online) and work-based learning (WBL) opportunities with a specific emphasis on CTE
  • Support Continuous Improvement and Capacity Building at all levels
  • Ensure that State Priorities and Direction Lead the State Plan with opportunities in Perkins V leveraged to assist in accomplishing the State goals and objectives for student achievement

Approval of the plan is a key part of the state’s effort to create a world-class CTE system that can strengthen education and workforce preparation for all Californians.


Opportunity to Share Best Practices in Distance Learning

CDE is asking teachers to share their distance learning successes from last school year in a short survey. CDE is looking to highlight strategies from practitioners in an effort to support educators across the state. Educators choosing to participate are only asked to provide grade level information, but may provide additional information (name, school district etc.) if they are interested in CDE following up on their response.


Continued Efforts to Close the Digital Divide as the School Year Begins

As many students and teachers begin the school year with some version of distance learning, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the CDE’s ongoing priorities on Wednesday. These priorities include soon to be released guidance on Continuity of Learning to support distance learning, a focus on family engagement including “two-way communication,” and ongoing efforts to close the digital divide. Last week, Superintendent Thurmond and the Digital Divide Task Force announced a partnership with Apple and T-Mobile in an effort to connect school leaders with up to one million devices.

But even these efforts may not be enough to close the digital divide.“We know that up to one million students still need devices for distance learning, and we’re in a race against the clock as most schools plan to begin the next school year virtually,” Thurmond said. “We are proud to have provided this opportunity for all school districts in California to learn about the public-private partnerships available that can help us accelerate our efforts to meet the urgent needs of our most vulnerable students.” With increased demand for devices, some school districts are being told the devices they purchased for the school year won’t arrive in time for the first day of school. Efforts to close the gaps in both devices and connectivity for California students remains a focus for Superintendent Thurmond, the Governor, and the Legislature.