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Linked Learning Among Best in U.S.

Los Angeles Times reporter George Skelton, whose Capitol Journal column covers Sacramento politics, notes in his latest article that “Long Beach has one of the better Linked Learning programs in the country.”

Linked Learning is a high school improvement approach that combines strong academics, demanding technical education and real-world experience in a pathway centered on an industry theme, such as engineering, biomedicine and health, or arts and media.

Skelton’s page two article in the Nov. 14 edition of the Times reports that the state Legislature devoted $250 million to Linked Learning and career pathways as part of the June budget.  State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg insisted upon the funding.

“Last spring (Steinberg) led legislators on a field trip to the Long Beach Unified School District, which has one of the better Linked Learning programs in the country. The senator says he found students there more engaged and focused than in many other public schools,” Skelton writes.

Of the 23,000 high schoolers in LBUSD, about 18,000 are involved in Linked Learning.

“It doesn't subtract from regular academic courses — English, science — but refocuses that curriculum toward possible careers,” Skelton continues.  “Often, students intern at local businesses.”

In the article, LBUSD Program Administrator Nader Twal explains that with Linked Learning, “students are able to answer their own question, 'Why am I learning this in class?'  Fundamentally, when students understand why they're learning, their attention and performance goes up."

Skelton has covered government and politics for the Times since 1974.  Read his full article.