By Marty Alvarado and Joel Vargas
Recent research about regional collaborations in California note their potential for promoting change across a state with a wide array of unique cultures, histories, and economies. Their potential for producing large-scale results is as yet a tantalizing general hypothesis: If educators, employers, and community leaders work together, they will achieve greater results than by working in their usual silos. It is a hypothesis now being tested vigorously in California through multiple publicly and privately supported regional initiatives that are all striving to help students succeed.
Jobs for the Future is excited to be involved in a particularly promising regional strategy that we just helped to launch: the Linked Learning Regional Hubs of Excellence, funded by The James Irvine Foundation. Four California regional collaboratives under this initiative now have the opportunity to dramatically increase the number of high school graduates in their communities who complete high school on time, earn postsecondary credentials, and engage in work that can sustain a family.
The selected regions—East Bay, Tulare-Kings, Long Beach, and San Bernardino—are already home to school districts that have adopted Linked Learning, a strategy for advancing these objectives. It is a proven approach that is transforming education for California students by integrating rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences.