High School Vocational Courses; Linked Learning Pilot Program
(a) For purposes of this section, a "linked learning program" is a program that is all of the following:
(1) A multiyear, comprehensive high school program of integrated academic and technical study that is organized around a broad theme, interest area, or industry sector, including, but not necessarily limited to, the industry sectors identified in the model standards adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 51226.
(2) A program that ensures that all pupils have curriculum choices that will prepare them for career entry and a full range of postsecondary options, including two- and four-year college, apprenticeship, and formal employment training.
(3) A program that is comprised, at a minimum, of the following components:
(A) An integrated core curriculum that meets the eligibility requirements for admission to the University of California and the California State University and is delivered through project-based learning and other engaging instructional strategies that intentionally bring real-world context and relevance to the curriculum where broad themes, interest areas, and career technical education are emphasized.
(B) An integrated technical core of a sequence of at least four related courses, that may reflect career technical education standards-based courses, that provide pupils with career skills, that are aligned to and underscore academic principles, and to the extent possible fulfill the academic core requirements listed in subparagraph (A).
(C) A series of work-based learning opportunities that begin with mentoring and job shadowing and evolve into intensive internships, school-based enterprises, or virtual apprenticeships.
(D) Support services, including supplemental instruction in reading and mathematics, that help pupils master the advanced academic and technical content that is necessary for success in college and career.
(b) The Superintendent, in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary for Education, the California Community Colleges, the University of California, the California State University, the Employment Development Department, both houses of the California Legislature, teachers, chamber organizations, industry representatives, research centers, parents, school administrators, representatives of regional occupational centers and programs, community-based organizations, labor organizations, and others deemed appropriate by the Superintendent, shall develop a report that explores the feasibility of establishing and expanding additional linked learning programs in California, including the costs and merits associated with expansion of these programs. Linked learning programs created for high schools may include, but are not limited to, California partnership academies, regional occupational centers and programs, charter schools, academies, small learning communities, and other career-themed small schools.
(c) The report described in subdivision (b) shall do all of the following:
(1) Identify regulations, policies, and practices that need to be added, deleted, or amended in order to promote the development and expansion of linked learning programs.
(2) Set forth a reasonable timeline for the development and expansion of linked learning programs.
(3) Include at least all of the following components:
(A) Assessment of the current capacity of the department for the purpose of maximizing the development of these programs.
(B) Identifying the possible roles and responsibilities of other departments or agencies to assist in developing or expanding linked learning programs.
(C) An assessment of the appropriateness of school districts fulfilling the requirements set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 51228 by developing industry-focused linked learning programs, including those described in this section.
(D) Methods for developing and sharing models of integrated curriculum and instruction.
(E) Strategies for increasing the course options and instructional time for pupils in high school.
(F) Plans for increasing opportunities for high-quality learning based on real-world applications in industry and careers.
(G) Methods for improving alignment of curriculum between middle schools and high schools with career instruction, exploration, and counseling for middle school pupils.
(H) Methods for improving coordination and articulation between high schools and postsecondary institutions, including, but not limited to, California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.
(I) Recommendations for increasing the supply of teachers who can teach effectively in a linked learning setting that aims to prepare pupils for a full range of postsecondary options. Necessary specialized skills include, but are not limited to, the abilities to design interdisciplinary projects and use project-based learning as an instructional strategy, work with other teachers in a team-teaching arrangement, develop curriculum that effectively integrates academic and technical content, design and utilize high-quality work-based learning to reinforce lessons in both academic and technical courses, and develop authentic pupil assessments.
(J) Recommendations for increasing the supply of schoolsite and district administrators who can effectively create and manage schools that are implementing one or more industry-focused linked learning programs. Necessary specialized skills include, but are not limited to, the abilities to develop and sustain partnerships with industry partners, recruit and retain uniquely qualified teachers, guide development of integrated curriculum, understand needs for and provide teacher professional development, guide development of comprehensive guidance systems that integrate college advising and career counseling, guide development of a coordinated and sequenced work-based learning component, and utilize data to assess pupil readiness for college and career.
(K) Recommendations for supporting regional coalitions in planning and developing programs.
(L) Evaluation of current linked learning programs, including partnership academies, regional occupational centers or programs and postsecondary linked learning programs, including middle colleges and early college models.
(M) Recommendations for increasing and improving in-school support services.
(N) Recommendations for incorporating new measures into the state' s accountability system to better assess the results of these linked learning programs.
(O) Assessment of the budgetary implications of offering all pupils access to these linked learning programs.
(d) For purposes of completing the report described in subdivision (b), the Superintendent is authorized to use existing state resources and federal funds. If state or federal funds are not available or sufficient, the Superintendent may apply for and accept grants and receive donations, and other financial support from public or private sources for purposes of this section.
(e) In developing the report, the Superintendent may accept support including, but not necessarily limited to, financial and technical support, from high school reform advocates, teachers, chamber organizations, industry representatives, research centers, parents, and pupils.
(f) The Superintendent shall report to the Legislature as to the status of completing the report and any preliminary recommendations no later than July 1, 2009.
(g) The Superintendent shall submit a final report with recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor no later than December 1, 2009.
(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 616, Sec. 2.)