This research brief identifies promising strategies for embracing student voice in school design based on the experience of Engage New England (ENE) grantees.
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional Systems
This brief examines the efforts of schools participating in the Barr Foundation’s Engage New England Initiative to improve the instructional systems for students who are off track to graduate high school.
Implementing Health Pathways in Continuation High Schools: Findings from an Evaluation of Oakland Health Pathways
The initiative is designed to improve educational and long-term employment outcomes for youth of color in Oakland (Alameda County), California, while expanding and diversifying the local health care workforce.
Assessing the Alignment between West Virginia’s High School Career and Technical Education Programs and the Labor Market
To support CTE improvement efforts, this study quantitatively assessed the alignment between West Virginia’s high school CTE programs and the labor market, with a focus on alignment to regional high-demand occupations that require moderate occupational preparation.
The world of work is changing rapidly and employers increasingly critique the preparation of incoming graduates, with only 11 percent agreeing students have the competencies needed to succeed in the workplace. Add to this picture low college completion rates and high remediation rates and the story is clear: too many students are graduating high school unprepared for college or career.
Educators across the nation are grappling with how to better prepare students to succeed in the workforce, and their efforts are supported by recent federal legislation. However, the rapidly changing workforce makes it challenging to come to consensus around what skills students should have when they leave high school. What does it mean to be “career ready,” and how can such a complex and evolving concept best be assessed and supported?
In an effort to address these questions, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia convened representatives from all ten RELs together with nationally renowned experts for a workshop to discuss how educators and researchers in each region are addressing the development and measurement of career readiness, and to share ideas and resources for how to improve and sync these efforts nationally.
The rapidly expanding Linked Learning approach blends career technical and college preparatory course sequence in a single high school pathway, representing the convergence of two strands of high school reform from the past thirty years. Using data from nine California districts, we examine the effect of high school Linked Learning participation on students’ early community college outcomes. This research brief uses administrative data from key California community college districts to build on previous analysis of end-of-high-school and early postsecondary enrollment outcomes for Linked Learning students which found that Linked Learning students who started high school with low levels of academic achievement were more likely than their similar peers to enroll in college. We find that Linked Learning students perform similarly to their peers during the first two years of college.
How Education and Industry Partner on Work-Based Learning. Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of Oakland Health Pathways
This brief presents findings from the Oakland Health Pathways Project (OHPP), a joint initiative of Oakland Unified School District, Alameda Health System, and Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. The initiative is designed to improve educational and long-term employment outcomes for youth of color in Oakland (Alameda County), California, while expanding and diversifying the local health care workforce. It applies Linked Learning, an approach to college and career preparation that combines classroom learning with real-world work experiences. This brief draws on interviews with key personnel from the three partner organizations to distill lessons learned on effective cross-sector partnerships and delivery of authentic work-based learning. These lessons are timely as the health care industry is projected to account for about a third of total U.S. job growth through 2026, and includes 20 of the 30 fastest growing occupations nationally. Findings from this Oakland initiative can help other communities better align K-12 education and student experiences with projected local labor needs.
In 2017, the Barr Foundation launched Engage New England (ENE), a signature initiative that provides a unique opportunity for local education agencies and nonprofits to plan for and develop innovative schools designed to serve students off track to high school graduation.
SRI Education, the research partner for the ENE initiative, captured the learnings from the planning process through interviews, classroom observations, and student focus groups conducted during March and April 2018. This brief focuses on lessons learned during the initial Understand and Design phases of work. The findings in this brief are based on the reflections of the school and design leaders and staff members involved in the design process as well as Springpoint staff members who supported the design process.
This brief is designed to benefit all three cohorts of ENE grantees as they plan and build their schools and to highlight key elements of planning for innovative school models.
Linked learning and postsecondary transitions: A report on the early postsecondary education outcomes of linked learning students
This research brief compares the postsecondary outcomes of students in certified Linked Learning pathways with those of peers with similar demographic characteristics and prior achievement in traditional high school programs. Certified pathways are those deemed to have met established quality standards through an external review. We found that Linked Learning students enrolled in college, remained through the first year, and persisted into a second year at similar rates as their traditional high school peers, both overall and for most of the subgroups examined. Further, Linked Learning had a positive effect on college enrollment for students who entered high school with low academic achievement and a positive effect on 4-year college enrollment for African American students. We found no negative effects of Linked Learning on postsecondary enrollment or persistence for any subgroup. Together, these findings suggest that Linked Learning pathways are just as successful in preparing students for college as traditional high school programs and may be more effective for African American students and students with low prior achievement.
Revised August 2018 to reflect updated high school graduation data and analysis