Resource Library

As a hub for the Linked Learning movement, the Alliance offers research, stories, and tools that help people understand the impact of Linked Learning and implement this approach at high levels of quality.

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Linked Learning in California

High School Transformation In Three Districts

This cross-case analysis draws upon case studies that examine how the California Linked Learning District Initiative (CLLDI) has played out in the Pasadena, Porterville, and Sacramento City Unified School Districts. It draws lessons from the experiences of leaders in these districts regarding the importance of reform coherence, distributed leadership, strategic planning and communication to the successful implementation of Linked Learning. Leaders in each district found in Linked Learning an answer to an important problem facing their district that also allowed them to bring greater coherence, relevance, and rigor to the daily work of both staff and students. The highly collaborative nature of Linked Learning required these districts to change and expand leadership responsibilities throughout the districts and the communities they serve. The degree of success of Linked Learning so far can be attributed in part to the ways in which leaders planned the introduction and expansion of the initiative. District leaders have identified clear, consistent, and constant communication about Linked Learning to be a critical component of their success to date.

Research, Leadership Development, Lessons Learned

June 2013 | SRI International

An executive summary highlighting key findings from the third-year evaluation report.

Preparing 21st Century Citizens

The Role of Work-Based Learning in Linked Learning

The idea of linking hands-on learning with academics is not a new one. John Dewey advocated education through experience at the turn of the last century. Unfortunately, relatively few schools offer this integrated approach, typically limiting instruction to textbooks and lectures.

Yet, evidence suggests that students who engage in experiences that connect school learning to the real world are more likely to stay in school. Furthermore, such experiences increase the chances that students will be both college and career ready. Work-based learning (WBL) programs are an integral part of Linked Learning and help foster the goal of providing students with the skills they need to succeed in college and career.

This brief describes the successful elements of WBL programs and offers guidance for implementation.

Research, Lessons Learned, Work-Based Learning

The Linked Learning Approach to High School Reform

What is it and why do we need it?
November 2013 | CSBA

This brief is one in a series on the Linked Learning high school reform effort that focuses on preparing graduates for both college and career. This first brief will discuss achievement gaps and employment and economic trends that support the need for high schools that prepare all students for both career and college. The following briefs will be informed by interviews with members of governance teams from districts that are implementing the Linked Learning approach, and will explore how career and college preparation programs—including Regional Occupational Programs/Centers (ROP/C)—promote success for underserved and underperforming students.

Research, Equity, Workforce Development

Developing a Performance Assessment System From the Ground Up

Lessons Learned From Three Linked Learning Pathways

As the country shifts to higher standards of learning for students, the ways in which we measure learning are shifting too. Rather than relying on traditional high-stakes one-shot tests, new assessment approaches foster continuous learning, improvement, and subject mastery. A new study offers insights into how teachers can use these practices in their classrooms and schools using examples from several schools implementing the performance assessment approaches effectively.

Research, Lessons Learned, Rigorous Academics

February 2014 | SRI International

In this fourth annual evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative, SRI looks back at the development of Linked Learning systems in the nine districts and examines their experiences to assess the initiative’s progress toward reaching its systems- and student-level goals. The fourth year of the evaluation yields new data on student engagement and achievement outcomes from eight of the nine districts participating in the initiative. It also offers lessons from the experiences of all nine districts based on interviews, focus groups, and a student survey.

Research, Lessons Learned, Outcomes

Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative

Fourth-Year Evaluation Report Executive Summary
February 2014 | SRI International

An executive summary highlighting key findings from the fourth-year evaluation report.

Research, Lessons Learned, Outcomes

Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative

Technical Supplement to the Fourth-Year Evaluation Report
February 2014 | SRI International

This document is a technical supplement to SRI International’s fourth annual evaluation report on the progress of the California Linked Learning District Initiative. This document provides information and data supporting the analysis of student engagement and achievement outcomes and the student survey.

Research, Outcomes

Linked Learning: America's Edge Report

Reducing the Skills Gap
March 2014 | CSBA

America’s Edge is a membership organization of business leaders who work to strengthen businesses and the economy through proven investments in children and youth. They “educate policymakers and the public about research-based investments that will enable their businesses to compete in today’s competitive global marketplace, build a foundation for lasting economic security and help our nation’s children get on the right track.” This fact sheet summarizes the findings from an America’s Edge report, Can California Compete? Reducing the Skills Gap and Creating a Skilled Workforce through Linked Learning.

Research, Workforce Development

This report draws on research, actual practice of states and nations, and input from leading policymakers, researchers, administrators, and practitioners to develop a vision of new accountability, which is portrayed in an imagined “51st state.”

Research, Policy