Did you know that in California:
- 9.3 million children (to the age of 18) live in the state;
- Almost 1 out of every 3 children live in a household with only one parent;
- Approximately 93,100 children participate in the federally-funded Head Start program;
- 75 percent of eighth graders are below grade level in math;
- 75 percent of fourth graders are reading below grade level; and
- 24 percent of high school students do not graduate on time with a high school diploma.
Our 2013 Policy Priorities
America’s Edge California is supporting efforts to provide high school students with real-world experiences and help them graduate with the skills California businesses need through Linked Learning, a promising education approach that combines rigorous academics, relevant career technical education and hands-on learning opportunities that connect to actual needs in the state’s economy.
In 2013, America’s Edge will continue its work to:
- Raise public awareness of and build policy-maker support for Linked Learning in California high schools
- Urge California legislators to protect funding for high schools that are implementing Linked Learning, including nearly 500 state-funded California Partnership Academies.
- Support efforts to include “college- and career-readiness” measures in California’s new education standards and its Academic Performance Index (API).
Linked Learning will strengthen California businesses and the economy because, as adults, participants:
- Earn more money;
- Work more hours;
- Have a better work ethic; and
- Have a higher skill level.
For more information about the Linked Learning approach, please click here.
For more information about innovative high school education models please click here.
America’s Edge releases Health Care”Skills Gap” Report in Antioch
Projected growth in California’s health care industry is expected to create over half a million job openings by 2020, creating demand for professional skills that workers in the East Bay may not possess, according to a new report, entitled, “Ensuring the East Bay’s Economic Success: Reversing California’s Health Care ‘Skills Gaps’ Through Linked Learning,” released May 31, 2013 by business leaders at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School, a Linked Learning school in Antioch. The report provides good news and bad news for employers and the workforce. On the up side, projections show that health care jobs will account for more than 10,000 job openings in Alameda and Contra Costa counties by 2020. However, the state will not have nearly enough qualified workers to fill them without a substantial shift in current education trends.
The solution? Linked Learning, a high school education approach that prepares students for college and career with rigorous academics integrated with relevant career-based coursework and real-world work-based learning experiences provided by local employers. Linked Learning provides students with the core knowledge and professional skills that businesses need to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.
Click here to read the full report: Ensuring the East Bay’s Economic Success: Reversing California’s Health Care ‘Skills Gaps’ Through Linked Learning
America’s Edge re-releases “Skills Gap”Report in Los Angeles
On June 8, 2012, business leaders released a new report in Los Angeles to call attention to skills gaps in California’s shifting job market. Read the report here. Included in the report is an insert about the skills mismatches specifically in Los Angeles County. Please view it here.
America’s Edge Releases New “Skills Gap” Report in Sacramento
On May 25, 2011, California business leaders and education administrators released a report urging support for an education approach that can help address significant skills gaps in many career fields in California, ranging from nursing to information technology.
The report calls on state lawmakers to support Linked Learning, a high school-based education approach that helps equip students with the specific skills California businesses seek and which will fuel the state’s economic recovery and long-term growth.
Linked Learning Bill Signed by Governor Jerry Brown
The Linked Learning bill that America’s Edge supported in 2012 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September. Click here to view the letter from America’s Edge members to the Governor. SB 1070 by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg reauthorizes the Career Technical Education Pathways Initiative.
This bill extends the statutory sunset of the original bill (SB 70, Scott, 2005), and also provides an opportunity to strengthen and focus the program on high priority sectors of our economy. Additionally, SB 1070 builds in greater accountability measures requiring schools to submit data on student outcomes.
SB 70 is one of the major funding sources for the state’s approximately 460 California Partnership Academies – one model of Linked Learning.
Site Visit with California Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway
On October 28, 2011, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare), local business leaders and education administrators toured Granite Hills High School to see first-hand how their innovative Linked Learning initiative equips students with the skill set that California businesses seek in today’s economy.
AMERICA’S EDGE California Promotional Video
A short new video, with excerpts from our May 25, 2011 press conference, highlights why California’s economic future depends on creating a skilled workforce.
Our thanks to ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, Porterville Unified School District and the Sacramento Press Club for allowing us to use some of their footage.
Linked Learning in the News
“Traditional education models lack relevance. High-quality Linked Learning pathways can help reform our education system and create a pipeline of workers with 21st century skills.”
–Teresa Goodwin, President, PeopleSpaces Design Group, Oakland, CA
- October 29, 2013. Wright, Sean. “Schools need to stress STEM.” Contra Costa Times.
- June 3, 2013. “Study: Career Themed Academies Help Improve Antioch Schools.“ East County Today.
- May 31, 2013. Burgarino, Paul. “America’s Edge study: Career-themed high school curricula needed to fill health care job gap.” Mercury News.
- April 2013. Wright, Sean. “AUSD is Leading the Way.“ Antioch Herald.
- April 30, 2013. Baron, Kathryn. “Bonds would fund business investment in schools under Steinberg proposal.” EdSource.
- April 30, 2012. Goodwin, Teresa. “Linked Learning a Great Way to Educate Kids.” Contra Costa Times.
- November 9, 2011. Avila, Ester. “Assemblywoman Connie Conway visits Granite Hills High School.” Porterville Recorder.
- October 3, 2011. Thomas, A.J. ‘Linked Learning’ Will Help Ensure Employers Can Find Skilled Workers.” Mercury News.
- June 14, 2011. Munroe, Tapan. “Complete Education Includes Real World.” Contra Costa Times.
- June 10, 2011. Ortega, Jennifer. “Career-Relevant Education Prepares Students for Real World, Helps Fill Skills Shortage.” El Cerrito Patch.
- June 9, 2011. Munroe, Tapan. “State face skills gap crisis for job creation.” Oakland Tribune.
- June 2, 2011. “Porterville Pathways remains in spotlight.” The Recorder.
- May 26, 2011. Srivastava, Mandira. “Business Leaders Report Identifies California’s Biggest Skills Gaps.” TMCnet.
- May 26, 2011. Smith, Darrell. “Sacramento Workers Lack Critical Skills, Study Says.” The Sacramento Bee.
- January 17, 2011. Rajan, Kish. Readers’ Forum: Need New Ways of Looking at Schools.” Contra Costa Times.
- November 3, 2010. Daley, Charley. “Better Training.” Contra Costa Times.
- August 2, 2010. Haraburda, Joseph H. “Career Academies can Boost State’s Business.” San Francisco Chronicle.
*For more information, please contact America’s Edge California State Director Jennifer Ortega.
Phone: (415) 762-8275