Taking Stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative: Fifth-Year Evaluation Report

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Guha, R., Caspary, K., Stites, R., Padilla, C., Arshan, N., Park, C., Tse, V., Astudillo, S., Black, A., & Adelman, N. (2014). Taking stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative. Fifth-year evaluation report. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.


New results from an ongoing, rigorous evaluation of the Linked Learning District Initiative show promising student outcomes. Compared with similar peers in traditional high school programs, students participating in certified Linked Learning pathways earn more credits in the first three years of high school, are more likely to be on track at the end of 10th grade to complete the courses required for four-year public colleges in California, and are more likely to stay in their school district instead of transferring or dropping out before graduation.

These students also report greater confidence than comparison students in their life and career skills and are more likely to say they are experiencing rigorous, integrated, and relevant instruction. In addition, student subgroups most frequently underserved by traditional schools—such as English learners, African American and Latino students, and underachieving students—who enrolled in certified pathways perform at least as well as (if not better) on credit accumulation and test score outcomes compared with their peers in the same subgroup in traditional high school programs. These results, as well as lessons learned based on a multi-year evaluation conducted by SRI International, are available in this new research report.

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