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In This Moment (9/25): Cradle-to-Career Data System

September 25, 2020

This week we highlight two timely opportunities to learn about important data-focused initiatives that are underway in California. In mid-October, a series of Cradle-to-Career Data System webinars will outline the key components of the proposed state data system. The California Performance Assessment Collaborative will also hold a webinar that will showcase how three Linked Learning districts have implemented performance assessments.

In other news, the California State University Board of Trustees announced their selection of Dr. Joseph Castro as the next Chancellor of the system.

Additionally, on Monday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond launched the Education to End Hate initiative to confront hate, racism, and bigotry.

Lastly, we share insights about a recently released brief from the Center for American Progress, titled “Preparing American Students for the Workforce of the Future.”

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

Cradle-to-Career Data System

Developing an effective Cradle-to-Career Data System is key for the Linked Learning field, as it will help to both monitor student results and support continuous improvement efforts for college and career preparation initiatives. We encourage the field to participate in one of the upcoming Community Engagement Webinars to learn more about the proposed data system for California and to provide feedback on the approach. The webinars are designed for different audiences (as noted below), and each one will be recorded and posted to the Cradle-to-Career Data System’s website.

  • Oct. 14, 2020: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (Researchers, advocacy organizations, and policymakers)
  • Oct. 14, 2020: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Students and families and community-based organizations)
  • Oct. 15, 2020: 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Practitioners and educators)
  • Oct. 15, 2020: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Estudiantes y familias y organizaciones a base de comunidad) (Ofrecido en español)

Please register by October 7, 2020 using this link.

California Performance Assessment Collaborative Webinar

Linked Learning students throughout California participate in performance assessments to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. While COVID-19 has of course added a layer of complexity to this important work, Linked Learning districts continue to find creative ways to meet the moment. They have adapted to virtual demonstrations of student learning through online exhibitions, portfolio and capstone project defenses, and other creative ways to close out the year and celebrate student learning. (Read more about Linked Learning performance assessment practices during COVID-19 here.)

The California Performance Assessment Collaborative (CPAC) is rolling out How Districts Can Support Meaningful Learning through Performance Assessments, which will highlight the work of three Linked Learning districts: Los Angeles Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, and Pasadena Unified School District. The webinar is scheduled for October 13 from 12:00-1:00 PM PT. District leaders will discuss the implementation of performance assessments and the adjustments they made as a result of COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the webinar and register.

Joseph Castro to Become CSU Chancellor

On Wednesday, the California State University Board (CSU) of Trustees announced their selection of Dr. Joseph Castro as the next Chancellor of the CSU system. Dr. Castro is an accomplished education leader, who has served as President of Fresno State, and earned the 2018 Linked Learning Champion Award. We look forward to working with a true advocate for college and career readiness in this senior leadership post for the nation’s largest public university system.

Click here for our recent announcement, applauding the Board for choosing such an outstanding educator for this critically important position.

Education to End Hate Initiative

On Monday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, along with a diverse group of philanthropic partners, organizations and State Legislators, launched the new Education to End Hate initiative directed at confronting hate, bigotry and racism by empowering educators and students.

Using a multi-pronged strategy, the California Department of Education announced educator training grants of up to $200,000 for Local Educational Agencies to be used to support training on anti-racism and bias in the classroom. The details of the grant application process will be available soon.

Throughout the month of October, the initiative will also offer a virtual classroom series for students, educators, and families about the forms of bias young people face and how schools can play an important role in ending discrimination.

Additionally, the initiative includes public roundtable discussions with leaders from racial and social justice organizations, educators, and state lawmakers seeking ways to ensure physically and emotionally safe learning environments. In a press release Superintendent Thurmond said, “It’s time to double down on our efforts to combat all forms of hate, bias, and bigotry. By digging deeper into the complexities of our diverse and difficult histories—not denying or ignoring them—I believe education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice.”

We will share details on the initiative, including information about the grant application, dates for the virtual classroom series, and roundtable discussions once they become available.

Center for American Progress Brief

The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently released “Preparing American Students for the Workforce of the Future,” providing a framework for a K-12 research agenda designed to surface policy solutions to best prepare students for college, career, and civic life.

The brief identifies challenges, or “gaps,” that exist across three areas:

  • Early exposure to career options, particularly in grades K-8
  • Holistic preparation for college and careers in the future workforce and civic life across academic and socioemotional factors
  • Orientation of school accountability systems around the outcomes of college and career readiness as well as the attainment of good jobs

For more insights on this brief, please visit our recent blog post on the subject, which can be found here.