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ConnectEd Blog

New Evaluation of the California Linked Learning District InitiativePosted on February 26, 2014 at 7:19pm

As more districts begin to implement Linked Learning through the AB 790 California Linked Learning Pilot, it is important to track the progress made in school districts already implementing the approach. For the past four years, SRI International has tracked and evaluated the California Linked Learning District Initiative. In their recent report, Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative: Fourth-Year Evaluation Report, SRI International analyze data from the nine districts participating in the initiative; Antioch, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montebello, Oakland, Pasadena, Porterville, Sacramento City, and West Contra Costa. Their findings share insights on how the Linked Learning approach is affecting the path of high school students within each district.

Links to the Forth Year Evaluation Report:

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SCOPE Case Studies Examine Effective Student-Centered Learning ApproachesPosted on February 4, 2014 at 5:29pm by Barbara McKenna

Four new case studies look at California schools effectively using student-centered learning models.

STANFORD, CA — While, nationally, students of color and low-income students continue to achieve at far lower levels than their more advantaged peers, some schools are breaking that trend. A new set of case studies, released today, looks at four of these schools in Northern California in which traditionally underserved students are achieving above state and district averages.
The Student-Centered Schools Study — funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation — focuses on schools using student-centered practices through either the Linked Learning or Envision Schools model. Linked Learning, a state-wide initiative, integrates rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Envision Schools is a small charter network that creates personalized learning environments for students to develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

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New Brief - The Linked Learning Approach to High School ReformPosted on February 3, 2014 at 10:54pm

The California School Board Association (CSBA) has released a new goverance brief.

About CSBA:
CSBA is an association that represents elected officials that govern school districts and county offices of education. Their governance briefs offer research, guidance and services for effective school board governance.

About the Brief:
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.

Download: The Linked Learning Approach to High School Reform

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Regions Encouraged to Apply for $250 Million Career Pathways TrustPosted on January 22, 2014 at 8:35pm by Hilary McLean

News Release: Regions Encouraged to Apply for $250 Million Career Pathways Trust

Grant Provides Incentives for School and Business Partnerships Needed to
Support Quality, Regional Growth of Linked Learning

Sacramento, CA- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg announced the opening of a competitive application process that will award $250 million from the Career Pathways Trust to help establish, grow, and strengthen systemic connections between schools and employers. Such linkages are needed to support quality implementation of Linked Learning at scale.

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ConnectEd Welcomes Jennifer Lutzenberger PhillipsPosted on January 9, 2014 at 9:53pm by Gary Hoachlander

Jennifer Lutzenberger Phillips joined ConnectEd on January 2nd as Director, Learning, Teaching, and Pathway Development, bringing significant experience as an educational leader, student advocate, coach, and literacy teacher. Jenn will be responsible for strengthening ConnectEd’s work to support Common Core integration, the transformation of learning and teaching in Linked Learning pathways, performance assessment design, and curriculum development. She has already hit the ground running, initiating a federal i3 grant with San Bernardino Unified School District in southern California.

Jenn most recently served as the vice president of Teaching and Learning at Envision Schools, where she developed leadership and coaching teams to improve instructional coherence across school sites and to implement Common Core. Before that she worked at the Oakland Unified School District as a school improvement coach and a content coach in secondary English with a focus on curriculum and assessment. She also taught high school English in the Baltimore City Public Schools and was an advisor for the Met in Providence, Rhode Island. 

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Houston Independent School District Wins Race to the Top-District GrantPosted on December 17, 2013 at 11:21pm

We would like to congragulate the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for being a second round winner of the Race to the Top-District competition. Read excerpts from the U.S. Department of Education and HISD announcements in the full blog post.

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Upcoming ConnectEd Studios WebinarsPosted on December 12, 2013 at 7:07pm

New to ConnectEd Studios or looking for a refresher? Join us for an overview session or take a deep dive into specific tools we've developed for Linked Learning pathways. Power Up on ConnectEd Studios today!

Contact to register.

Upcoming webinars:

New User Orientation
Jan. 9, 3PM PST – hosted by Pallavi Somusetty

Performance Tasks and Student Portfolios
Jan. 14, 4PM PST – hosted by Tom Skerjvheim

Learn more about the webinars at:

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Welcome ConnectEd's Newest Board MembersPosted on December 4, 2013 at 11:46pm by Gary Hoachlander

I am pleased to introduce our newest board members. Please help us welcome Dr. Karina Edmonds and Mr. Dan Varner.

Dr. Karina Edmonds
Executive Director for Institute Corporate Relations
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Dr. Karina Edmonds, now head of Corporate Relations at Caltech, brings an extraordinary background of corporate and educational experience, including former positions at the Jet Propulsion Lab, TRW, and the U.S. Department of Energy. She is deeply committed to STEM and will be a wonderful advocate for Linked Learning and ConnectEd's contribution to the field.

Dan Varner
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Excellent Schools Detroit

Dan Varner is CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit, which will house Linked Learning Detroit and adopt the Linked Learning framework as an approach for advancing a broad college and career readiness agenda in Detroit. Excellent Schools Detroit is the new home for Linked Learning Detroit.

We appreciate their commitment and service to ConnectEd and Linked Learning.

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ConnectEd Awarded New Federal i3 GrantPosted on November 20, 2013 at 11:23pm

Investing in Innovation

The U.S. Department of Education announced results for the fourth round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) competition, which will award the 25 highest-rated applications (HRAs) more than $135 million to expand innovative practices designed to improve student achievement. ConnectEd was the second highest-rated application, overall.

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ConnectEd Studios OpportunitiesPosted on November 5, 2013 at 11:55pm

ConnectEd Studios (CES) the online platform for Linked Learning/career pathways, is interested in working with a network of power users from districts, schools, and pathways throughout California and the country. The goal of the Power User Network (PUN) is to:

  • create a community of intensive ConnectEd Studios users who can communicate and collaborate with each other around challenges and successes
  • provide a robust feedback loop to the ConnectEd Studios team to help inform the future development of the platform
  • receive in-depth training on CES so power users can support local implementation

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