Policy Reports

The Linked Learning Alliance brings together stakeholders in education, industry, and local communities to develop and promote state and local policy that supports and expands the Linked Learning approach to high school transformation. This work includes extensive research and analysis of current best practices and opportunities to improve student readiness for college and career through state and local policy solutions.

Below are links to a selection of recent reports that include policy recommendations to advance Linked Learning. If you would like to recommend additional resources for inclusion on this page, please send your suggestions to us at: info@linkedlearning.org.


  • Pathways to College and Career Readiness: Bringing the New California Standards to Life through Linked Learning examines promising strategies being employed at nine California school districts. While some of these strategies are still being refined, they are already yielding encouraging results, especially with historically under-served student populations. The report identifies eight promising strategies that are being used in school districts throughout California. Some are student-focused, such as the practice of developing “graduate profiles” aligned to Common Core standards that spell out what all students should know by the time they graduate. Others concentrate on the teacher, such as providing structured “release time” for teachers to collaborate with their peers to plan and develop interdisciplinary lessons for the Linked Learning pathway courses they teach.


  • Coursework for College and Career Pathways: Dual Academic/CTE Courses is a policy brief from the College & Career Academy Support Network that describes current regulations in California about required teacher qualifications for courses that integrate academic and career technical education (CTE) content standards. The brief also proposes policy options to make these dual academic/CTE courses available to more students.
  • Recognizing College and Career Readiness in the California School Accountability System is a report from Soung Bae and Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) that proposes effective approaches that policymakers and administrators can use to effectively use the opportunity provided by significant shifts in school funding, classroom instruction, and student assessment to enact policies that better prepare all students for college and careers. The report also proposes ways that student accomplishments illustrating career readiness can be included in graduation standards and conveyed to prospective colleges and employers.
  • Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative provides an executive summary of the fifth year of evaluation of the initiative. Among other results of this ongoing evaluation, data show promising outcomes for students participating in certified Linked Learning pathways, in comparison with similar peers in traditional high school programs. Most promisingly, the study is finding that the student subgroups most frequently under-served by traditional schools who enrolled in certified pathways perform at least as well as (if not better) on credit accumulation and test score outcomes compared with their peers in the same subgroup in traditional high school programs. The full fifth year evaluation report is available here.


  • Ensuring the East Bay’s Economic Success: Reversing California’s health care “skills gaps” through Linked Learning, a report from America’s Edge discusses how more than 500,000 job openings are projected in California’s health care industry – and employers will struggle to fill them. Too many California workers may not be prepared to meet the educational requirements for jobs in this sector, which is rapidly growing as demand for health care services increases. To ensure East Bay employers are able to fill the anticipated jobs in health care, a sector with many of the highest-growth jobs in the state, the business leaders of America’s Edge urge policymakers to expand access to Linked Learning to equip high school students for success in both college and career, including careers in the health are industry. If we expect California to compete and succeed in the global marketplace, we must act now to ensure our businesses have the skilled workforce we need.
  • Transforming Today’s Education for Tomorrow’s Economy: New Directions for Career and Technical Education in California provides twelve policy strategies for aligning career and technical education and mainstream academics. The paper focuses on developing Linked Learning pathways to prepare students for lasting academic and career success.






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