Assembly Speaker John Perez, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia Announce $1.1 M to Help Students 'Link' Learning to College, Careers


April 30, 2010 8:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today State Assembly Speaker John Perez joined Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board President Monica Garcia along with leaders from business and community-based organizations to announce a $1.1 million grant for Local District 4 — presented by ConnectEd — to help high school students “link” learning to college and sustainable careers.

Assembly Speaker Perez applauded the District, as well as its partners the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, Alliance for a Better Community and ConnectEd for their efforts in supporting an approach to learning that integrates academic instruction with demanding technical curriculum and work-based learning.

“One of the most successful ways to educate students is by ensuring that they make the crucial connection between the curriculum they learn in their classrooms and their experiences in the real world, and the Linked Learning approach has been demonstrated to help students do exactly that,” said Assembly Speaker Perez.  “This approach leads students to find relevance in their education, which ultimately better prepares them for college and a career.”

The announcement was made at the Academic Leadership Community and Los Angeles School of Global Studies, two schools based within the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex.  These and other schools in surrounding communities are set in the context of some of California’s 15 major industries such as arts, media and entertainment; building and environmental design; engineering; health science and medical technology; information technology and law and public services, as well as other thematic areas designed to engage students.

“At one time or another, every one of us has asked the question, ‘why do I have to learn this?’  Students, like adults, are more engaged when they know their studies are relevant to real world situations,” said Board President Garcia.  “That’s why Linked Learning is such a powerful instructional strategy, and why we are delighted to expand Linked Learning pathways here in Local District 4.”

Formerly known as Multiple Pathways, Linked Learning transforms students' high school experience by bringing together strong academics, demanding technical education and real-world experience to help students gain an advantage in high school, postsecondary education and careers.

With the Linked Learning approach, students follow industry-themed pathways in a wide range of fields, such as engineering, arts and media, biomedicine and health. These pathways connect learning with students’ interests and career aspirations leading to higher graduation rates, increased postsecondary enrollments, higher earning potential and greater civic engagement.  Used in schools throughout California, this integrated approach helps students build a strong foundation for success in college, career and life.

“Los Angeles is an excellent example of how a community can come together to improve its high schools through Linked Learning,” said ConnectEd President Gary Hoachlander.  “With this $1.1 million grant, ConnectEd looks forward to helping LAUSD enhance the quality of pathways to improve student engagement and achievement and expand access to pathways to reach more local youth.”

Currently, the California Department of Education is conducting a study which seeks to examine the feasibility of implementing Linked Learning throughout the state and is expected to release a report.

A March 2007 study conducted collaboratively by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, and the Career Academy Support Network at the University of California at Berkeley, found that students in California’s partnership academies — Academies which have operated in California for more than two decades using the Linked Learning approach — were more likely to pass the CAHSEE as sophomores, more likely to complete the A-G requirements needed for admissions eligibility to California’s public universities and more likely to graduate from high school.

More information about Linked Learning can be found at www.connectedcalifornia.org/alliance/index.php.

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