Happy Holidays from the Linked Learning Alliance
As I reflect on 2012, I am humbled by a year of progress that positions the Linked Learning field for additional advances in 2013. Working together as a group of educators, policymakers, state agencies, business and industry leaders, districts and higher education institutions, we have helped ensure that the Linked Learning approach is garnering state support through funding a new state pilot program, and the evolution of assessment and accountability systems.
To continue to expand college and career readiness for all students in California, we undoubtedly have our work cut out for us. Today, 59 percent of jobs require some post-secondary credential. And by 2018, this figure will grow to 63 percent of all jobs, a trend that is likely to continue to grow. (California Department of Education (2012)
The Linked Learning field is well poised to help create a prepared 21st century workforce in California, ready to succeed in college, careers, and life. The Linked Learning approach continues to gain momentum across the state. Thirty-five districts and consortiums have applied to participate in the new state Linked Learning Pilot Program. The selected districts will be announced in early 2013, and we look forward to working with those districts on expanding and improving Linked Learning opportunities for their students.
In the coming year there will be new policy opportunities to further develop California’s support system for Linked Learning. Some new bills have already been introduced that we will continue to keep our eye on as we move into 2013. For example, AB 39, which would implement the Clean Energy Jobs Act created through Proposition 39, has the potential to impact funding for pathways and academies which emphasize training in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. SB 5 will impact teacher credentialing by allowing for two years of professional preparation that could increase exposure to innovative and integrative practices, such as Linked Learning, through completion of an education major or Master’s degree.
Spotlight: Linked Learning in Action: Engaging Policymakers and Legislative Staff
What is the best way to ensure policymakers and legislative staff understand the power of Linked Learning to make lasting lasting positive impacts on students’ lives? Invite them to see the benefit of Linked Learning first-hand.
Recently Jennifer Ortega, California State Director of America’s Edge, and member of the Linked Learning Alliance Leadership Council, organized Linked Learning site visits in Sacramento for key policy staff members from the State Capitol. The staff visited schools in Sacramento City Unified, part of the Linked Learning District Initiative. There, the policy staff toured classrooms and met with students and staff of Hiram Johnson High School’s Technology, Engineering and Design Academy and the School of Engineering and Sciences. Site visits provide the opportunity to build greater awareness of Linked Learning as an education reform strategy that energizes students and improves outcomes, while benefiting California’s economic and workforce development in key sectors.
Because Linked Learning holds such
promise for improving education it is equally important to engage and share with national partners committed to improving college and career readiness. David Butler, CEO of NextEd (formerly known as LEED), recently hosted Alliance for Excellent Education President, and former governor
of West Virginia, Bob Wise on a visit to Arthur A Benjamin Health Professions High School, in the Sacramento City Unified School District. The school’s principal and students shared how they use the Linked Learning approach as a transforming strategy to reduce the dropout rate, boost student test scores, and increase school graduation rates. NextEd also invited Governor Wise to visit Cordorva High School Career Academies in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District where five different career pathways are offered to students.
A special thanks to our Linked Learning partners for engaging local and national leaders in relevant and experiential learning opportunities!
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