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ConnectEd Blog

Preparing for Linked LearningPosted on June 24, 2016 at 5:10pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd

A few weeks ago, I visited Bing Wong Elementary School in San Bernardino City Unified School District. What an impressive school!

To prepare students to enter nearby Indian Springs High School, which has Linked Learning pathways in Advanced Manufacturing and Health, Bing Wong engages them in a growing array of challenging project-based learning experiences.

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A Game of ChancePosted on June 22, 2016 at 11:16pm

My family and I chose Game of Life for a board game night. Throughout the night I spun a wheel, chose to go to college or start a career, picked up a few cards, and lost – all by chance.

The randomness of the game was eerily similar to my high school experience.

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Wisdom and Advice for the Class of 2016Posted on June 22, 2016 at 8:14pm

There have been some spectacular commencement speeches over time. And fortunately, the recent ones have been recorded on YouTube or archived in places like NPR’s Commencement Speech database. Below a few of our ConnectEd team members share speeches they were inspired by and what they would say if they were speaking at a graduation.

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JPMorgan Chase announces $4M to help Detroit students gain economic successPosted on June 1, 2016 at 9:37pm

We are excited to see Linked Learning Detroit in the headlines. On June 1, 2016, the Detroit Free Press highlighted JPMorgan Chase’s $4 million grant to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to expand Linked Learning Detroit. JP Morgan Chase joins the Skillman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company Fund, whose grants total $7 million and will connect 10,000 Detroit high school students to career education and work experiences over the next three years.

To take a deeper look into Linked Learning Detroit, read our report, Game Changer: Linked Learning Detroit. You’ll learn about Linked Learning Detroit through interviews with students, teachers, and administrators from five of the Linked Learning high schools mentioned in the Detroit Free Press article. Download the report here.

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One Step Closer to Fulfilling Our PromisePosted on May 18, 2016 at 9:21pm by Gary Hoachlander

Equitable Access by Choice

All students ready for college and career! That's the promise of Linked Learning. But for us to deliver on that promise requires fidelity to the "four pillars" of high quality pathways—challenging academics, demanding career and technical education, work-based learning, and personalized student supports. Implementing any of the four with high quality is difficult, but in many pathways, personalized student supports is the component most often underdeveloped or absent.

So I welcome the new report, Equitable Access by Design. Published by Stanford’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, the report was developed with the Center for Powerful Public Schools, the Annenberg Institute, ConnectEd, several Linked Learning districts, and community-based organizations.

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San Diego Aims to Improve Access to WBL Opportunities with New ePortalPosted on May 10, 2016 at 11:46pm

Many Linked Learning districts find it difficult to provide their students with access to activities along the entire Work-Based Learning (WBL) continuum. WBL activities range from career awareness and exploration to job preparation and training. During the 2016 Linked Learning Convention, Dave Yanofsky, our Director of Digital Learning and Media, revealed that in an effort to address the challenges districts face, San Diego County will pilot a new ePortal that combines two Linked...

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Celebrating Leadership and PersistencePosted on April 27, 2016 at 6:17pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEdTen years ago, the Milton Hershey School board invited me to observe and assess the school’s vocational educational programs, a longstanding part of the school’s mission since its founding in 1909. I was disappointed. I saw a traditional curriculum rooted in occupationally narrow instruction aimed at the segment of students presumed to be “non-college bound.”

I recently revisited the school during a career and technical education conference, Taking it to the Next Level, hosted by the school and Opportunity America. What a remarkable change! Today every high school student participates in one of eleven career pathways, such as Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering and Design, and Health Science.

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Welcome Jay Steele! Executive Director of The Great Lakes College and Career Pathways InitiativePosted on April 7, 2016 at 4:44pm

Jay SteeleDr. Jay Steele has joined us as Executive Director for the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Initiative. Previously, Jay was the former chief academic officer for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, where he was responsible for the education of 86,000+ students in 150 schools, and his comprehensive redesign of Nashville’s high school became a national model.

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Is your school climate right for learning?Posted on April 6, 2016 at 10:23pm

Jennifer Lutzenberger PhillipsJennifer Lutzenberger Phillips, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Pathway Development at ConnectEd, and a former classroom teacher, is always searching for resources to make change easier for teachers and site leaders. In a recent interview, when we explored the question, “Is your climate right for learning?” we learned about a tool that can help administrators and teachers figure that out.


What do administrators and teachers need to know about their climate for learning?

They need to know if the culture, leadership and team dynamic are conducive to learning. Teacher teams and site leaders must grapple with these questions, “Is this place the kind of place that is set up well to get all teachers learning together and to move outcomes for kids? Or is this a place that is not set up well and if it is not set up well, why? What’s the missing piece?” It boils down to figuring out whether or not people are ready – as a team – to learn what they need to learn in order to successfully implement a new approach, curriculum, student outcome, district policy, accountability system or site program. Often when leaders realize there’s something wrong with climate, they try to identify promising programs, strategies or practices that teachers could put in place to improve the situation.  New programs and strategies require time and structures, as well as certain conditions—like psychological safety and trust—for the learning to result in new practices.

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New Partnership Launches the Great Lakes College and Careers Pathways InitiativePosted on April 4, 2016 at 4:23pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd For the past two days, I’ve had the delight and honor of spending time with K-16 educators and workforce experts who came together to launch the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Initiative. Funded by The Joyce Foundation, the Initiative builds on pathway development efforts that have been going on in four communities in the Midwest: 1) Rockford, Illinois, 2) the Northwest Suburbs of Illinois, 3) Central Ohio, and 4) Madison, Wisconsin.

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