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.
This guide is designed to answer questions about how high schools are practicing Linked Learning, shedding light on the ways they address practical challenges, set high expectations, and adapt to changing circumstances. This guide does not provide a set of requirements or prescriptions to implement Linked Learning "the right way." Rather, it lays out in plain terms how real schools do the hard work of preparing all students for college, careers, and life beyond high school.
The study, conducted over two years, highlights the connection between quality implementation of Linked Learning and equity and college and career access. The key findings in this report reinforce the need for consistency in the non-negotiable elements of Linked Learning as districts strive to take this approach to scale.
This case study tells the story of how Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) has managed to integrate Linked Learning into its own district reform through staffing, reorganizing, and building capacity within the district. The study notes some early indicators of improvement including increases in API scores and decreases in dropout rates at some SCUSD high schools.
This report examines preliminary data on student outcomes from four selected Linked Learning districts. Each of these districts focuses on pathways to college and career that meet criteria for quality certification by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, the national hub for Linked Learning practice. This summary also assesses implementation progress across all nine school districts participating in this initiative, drawing on interviews, student focus groups and student surveys.
According to this report, nearly half (47 percent) of California jobs are in “middle skills” occupations that require education beyond a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year college degree. The report estimates that only 38 percent of California workers have the skills to fill these positions, creating a nearly 10 percent skills gap. When coupled with a shortage of workers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, business leaders are voicing concern about California’s competitive viability in a global marketplace.
This is the story of how Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is creating sustainable high school reform. PUSD, through a set of district leadership practices, thoughtfully built the capacity of and sense of ownership among essential stakeholders to design, implement, and support a system of Linked Learning pathways. Though firmly anchored by the visionary leadership of a superintendent, the PUSD Linked Learning story extends to school sites, civic and industry partners, and the broader community. This story also highlights the impact that a change in leadership can have on reform efforts, the ways that ownership of an initiative can be expanded to a wider pool of key stakeholders, and how those stakeholders can increase capacity to sustain the vision and implementation of reform beyond one leader.
This case study describes how Porterville Unified School District (PUSD), a rural school district in California’s Central Valley, began to fulfill its vision to transform high school and career education through the implementation of Linked Learning. The case explains how Porterville’s district leadership team made Linked Learning the centerpiece of its district-wide reform effort and describes the key strategies the leadership team developed in collaboration with stakeholders to implement a system of pathways across five high schools.
This report highlights positive results at California Partnership Academies (CPAs). Many of these CPAs are also part of Linked Learning.
This report on the California Partnership Academies (CPAs) reveals very promising results for student performance across a range of important outcomes: most notably graduation rates for seniors, and completion of the “A-G” courses required for admission to the University of California and California State University. It is significant to note that these results have been achieved despite the fact that 50 percent of CPA students enter the program as “at-risk students” based on strict criteria. The new findings confirm the pattern found in a similar report on the CPAs using data from 2004-05, but with substantially larger numbers of academies and students.
To meet California’s demand for a more educated workforce, high schools must dramatically increase the number of students who graduate and graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college and career. Yet disturbingly, few students graduate with the college-ready coursework needed to access our state’s public university system. This is especially true for low-income students and students of color, who are also disproportionately tracked into less rigorous “career education” courses. This report highlights these troubling trends and calls for a more integrated and equitable approach to college and career preparation—so that high school serves to open doors to both college and career options for all students.