The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), in partnership with more than 20 districts throughout the greater Sacramento region, will be part of a new state program designed to help students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that there will be 20 participants from throughout California in the pilot program. Combined, the selected local educational agencies serve approximately 600,000 high school students. Legislation (AB 790) by former Assembly Member Warren Furutani approved last year called for the establishment of "Linked Learning" programs. The pilot program will be used to assess how "Linked Learning" can be expanded to schools across California.
"Linked Learning" programs use coursework, technical training, work-based learning and related support mechanisms to forge real connections between high school, college, and career. Students in these programs are demonstrably more likely to graduate from high school than their statewide counterparts, and do so with the skills and knowledge that California employers say they need.
"'Linked Learning' is helping to create a productive future workforce for California that is ready to succeed in college, career and life," said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. "Studies show that when students love what they are learning, they work harder and learn more."
SCOE is part of the Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE) Consortium. It is a multi-county regional partnership that includes El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, and Yuba counties. The consortium comprises 21 school districts and county offices of education reaching some 70 high schools and 197,000 students. Led by SCOE in collaboration with NextEd, the consortium also includes community colleges, businesses and business associations, hospital systems, labor organizations, city and county government, and a wide range of public sector agencies. CRANE will create a region-wide system of support to help individual districts develop, implement, and sustain rigorous career academies aligned with critical industries identified by Next Economy, the Capital Region's economic development strategy.
"Rigorous career academies are not only key to improving public education, they are critical to the economic competiveness of our region and its residents," noted Dave Butler, CEO of NextEd. "CRANE...will create a competitive edge for the Capital Region, and is, by far, the most ambitious—and potentially the most transformative—career academy initiative in California, if not the nation."
NextEd (formerly known as LEED) is an employer-educator partnership serving the six county Sacramento region and is the education/workforce affiliate of the Sacramento Metro Chamber. NextEd will serve as a primary partner with SCOE and the other districts on CRANE, serving as intermediary to employers, post-secondary institutions and civic partners.
With such far-reaching collaboration, the CRANE Consortium has the potential through "Linked Learning" to completely shift how schools throughout the greater Sacramento region prepare students for careers and college.
Members of the statewide Linked Learning Alliance, including ConnectEd, The California Center for College and Career, National Academy Foundation, and the College and Career Academy Support Network, worked with the California Department of Education on the development of a Request for Applications for the pilot program and provided intense outreach, coaching, and support to prospective applicants.