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One Step Closer to Fulfilling Our Promise

May 18, 2016
In the Media
Gary Hoachlander

All students ready for college and career! That's the promise of Linked Learning. But for us to deliver on that promise requires fidelity to the "four pillars" of high quality pathways—challenging academics, demanding career and technical education, work-based learning, and personalized student supports. Implementing any of the four with high quality is difficult, but in many pathways, personalized student supports is the component most often underdeveloped or absent.

So I welcome the new report, Equitable Access by Design. Published by Stanford’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, the report was developed with the Center for Powerful Public Schools, the Annenberg Institute, ConnectEd, several Linked Learning districts, and community-based organizations.

It provides a desperately needed and excellent conceptual framework for how to conceive of, design, and implement integrated student supports within Linked Learning pathways.

Two examples in the report — one from Oakland and another from Los Angeles — show how district leaders, schools, and community partners integrate student supports that build both institutional and instructional capacity in and across districts, schools, classrooms, and communities. As a result, students gain greater access to relevant and rigorous learning opportunities.

Making good on this equity imperative, the report notes, requires integrated supports that “meet all students where they are, scaffold their engagement with a standards-based curriculum, and address their learning and personal youth development needs.”

As adults serving Linked Learning students, we all must commit to continuous improvement and learning at every level of the educational system. Whatever your role or position, I urge you to read this report with your colleagues, discuss the examples, and follow up on the resources. We will be doing that here at ConnectEd!