Our economy demands that
we prepare all youth for future success

No matter what their socioeconomic standing, background, or academic prowess

We are passionate about our work and inspired by our team

Background

Together, over the past several decades, California schools, local communities, educational support providers, and funders have done groundbreaking work to pilot educational transformation efforts that respond to the growing societal need to better prepare CA youth for success in college, careers, and civic engagement. Collectively, the multitude of projects and initiatives have focused on several interrelated areas of growth. Without doubt, these efforts have led to valuable lessons learned, built organizational capacity, and strengthened the field. Indeed, they have informed the way forward.

While we certainly have much to celebrate, the improvements have been implemented in an uneven, fragmented way that benefits only pockets of students, teachers, schools and communities. To assure equity, there remains a need to weave the fragments together in a way that provides equitable opportunities and improved outcomes for students from all backgrounds in all corners of the state.

Need

Our economy demands that we prepare all youth – no matter what their socioeconomic standing, background, or academic prowess – with the success skills they need to effectively navigate further education and training; pursue a purposeful, family-sustaining career; and engage productively in their local communities. To do so, we must support school districts and their local communities to set high expectations for students and hold themselves collectively accountable for supporting all students to meet the outcomes.

School districts across the state share the common goal of preparing all students for success in college, career, and civic engagement. While the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the associated Smarter Balanced assessments, may be necessary to meet that goal, they are not sufficient. In addition to mastery in core content areas, success in the workplace and institutions of higher education requires students to demonstrate competency in 21st Century skills and social emotional learning outcomes.

The state has not yet clearly defined what it means to be “college and career ready” (CCR), but the College/Career Indicator (CCI) of the CA Schools Dashboard includes a number of proxies that, to a limited degree, may represent a student’s readiness. The lack of definition and valid indicators leaves school districts and their local communities to take it upon themselves to define college and career readiness within their local context. Many communities have done so by developing a Graduate Profile.

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Need

Our economy demands that we prepare all youth – no matter what their socioeconomic standing, background, or academic prowess – with the success skills they need to effectively navigate further education and training; pursue a purposeful, family-sustaining career; and engage productively in their local communities. To do so, we must support school districts and their local communities to set high expectations for students and hold themselves collectively accountable for supporting all students to meet the outcomes.

School districts across the state share the common goal of preparing all students for success in college, career, and civic engagement. While the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the associated Smarter Balanced assessments, may be necessary to meet that goal, they are not sufficient. In addition to mastery in core content areas, success in the workplace and institutions of higher education requires students to demonstrate competency in 21st Century skills and social emotional learning outcomes.

The state has not yet clearly defined what it means to be “college and career ready” (CCR), but the College/Career Indicator (CCI) of the CA Schools Dashboard includes a number of proxies that, to a limited degree, may represent a student’s readiness. The lack of definition and valid indicators leaves school districts and their local communities to take it upon themselves to define college and career readiness within their local context. Many communities have done so by developing a Graduate Profile.

Creating a Graduate Profile is a critical first step that lays a foundation for achieving improved outcomes for youth

Scaling Student Success leverages the best intentions of school districts, and supports them in designing and implementing an equity-based strategy for realizing the student learning outcomes articulated in their respective Graduate Profiles.

Opportunity

Over the past decade, an increasing number of CA school districts have convened community stakeholders to create Graduate Profiles that define the skills, competencies, and qualities that each community believes will prepare their children for future success. Communities have been willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to develop Graduate Profiles because they believe that traditional state accountability systems often too narrowly define college and career readiness. School and community leaders believe it’s important to capture and advance the values of local stakeholders in order to more broadly define the learning outcomes that should be the result of educating the “whole child.” Research reinforces the need to broaden the definition of college and career readiness to incorporate a range of 21st Century skills and social-emotional learning outcomes.

Creating a Graduate Profile is a critical first step that lays a foundation for achieving improved outcomes for youth. It offers a renewed vision and definition of the college and career-ready student, serves as an impetus for shifting instructional practices and engaging students in deeper learning, and requires a shift in assessment that provides youth authentic ways to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Perhaps most important, when school boards and community groups endorse their Graduate Profile, they imply the intent to hold themselves collectively accountable for a broader set of student learning outcomes.

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Over the past decade, an increasing number of CA school districts have convened community stakeholders to create Graduate Profiles that define the skills, competencies, and qualities that each community believes will prepare their children for future success. Communities have been willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to develop Graduate Profiles because they believe that traditional state accountability systems often too narrowly define college and career readiness. School and community leaders believe it’s important to capture and advance the values of local stakeholders in order to more broadly define the learning outcomes that should be the result of educating the “whole child.” Research reinforces the need to broaden the definition of college and career readiness to incorporate a range of 21st Century skills and social-emotional learning outcomes.

Creating a Graduate Profile is a critical first step that lays a foundation for achieving improved outcomes for youth. It offers a renewed vision and definition of the college and career-ready student, serves as an impetus for shifting instructional practices and engaging students in deeper learning, and requires a shift in assessment that provides youth authentic ways to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Perhaps most important, when school boards and community groups endorse their Graduate Profile, they imply the intent to hold themselves collectively accountable for a broader set of student learning outcomes.

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Scaling Student Success leverages the best intentions of school districts, and supports them in designing and implementing an equity-based strategy for realizing the student learning outcomes articulated in their respective Graduate Profiles. It simultaneously pulls on the policy levers that will incentivize more school districts in CA to prioritize this worthwhile endeavor and realize the intended outcomes for a growing percentage of CA youth.

In essence, the partnership is designed to tie a bow around the groundbreaking work that many organizations have done over the past few decades by connecting two ends – linking the community vision articulated in a Graduate Profile with the shared accountability of making that vision come to life and improve outcomes for youth. Of course, getting there is the hard part. By coalescing the collective expertise and passion for catapulting our youth into successful futures, we can do it.

Long-term Project Outcomes

As a partnership, we’ll measure success by gauging the degree to which we are able to achieve the following long-term outcomes, as well as annual benchmarks or progress measures (to be determined).

This table is best viewed in landscape mode.

By 2025 By 2030
Systemwide, formalized recognition of the importance of student demonstration of 21st Century skills and social-emotional learning (SEL) outcomes as essential skills necessary to prepare students for success in college, career, and civic engagement

Measure: % of school districts in CA that have created Graduate Profiles with plans to operationalize them

Shifts in local and state accountability measures to incorporate student demonstration of 21st Century skills and SEL outcomes

Evidence: Refined definition of College and Career Readiness (CCR) incorporated into CA School Dashboard, inclusion on the state’s template for the Local Control & Accountability Plans (LCAP)

Substantially improved capacity of practitioners to advance high quality implementation of evidence-based practices (i.e., PBL, performance assessment), which in turn foster student mastery of essential skills

Evidence: Results of teacher surveys conducted in districts served by Scaling Student Success

Routinized, systematic use of PBL, performance assessment, and other evidence-based educational practices that foster student demonstration of essential skills

Evidence: Major research study

Increase in public and private funding to promote student demonstration of essential skills, teacher capacity to implement evidence-based practices, and leadership coaching to model and promote an enabling organizational culture

Measure: Combined amount of foundation funding and dedicated school district investments

Alignment of sustained public and private funding coordinated to support student mastery of essential skills, teacher use of evidence-based practices, and leader support for an enabling organizational culture

Evidence: Agreement among a consortium of funders to advance toward a common vision with a shared agenda

Emergence of organizational cultures, structures, and processes that support continuous improvement, growth, and adaptation

Evidence: Research study

Systemic adoption of organizational policies, cultures, structures, and processes that routinize continuous improvement and sustainability

Evidence: Major research study

Sampling of public and private colleges and universities that consider student demonstration of essential skills in admissions & placement decisions

Evidence: Survey of college admissions directors

Routinized practice among most/all public and private colleges and universities to recognize demonstration of essential skills in admissions & placement decisions

Evidence: Survey of college admissions directors

Transform education to bolster student success

Raise the aspirations of our education system and the expectations and capacity of local communities to prepare all youth, no matter their background, for future success in college, career, and civic engagement.

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Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Scaling Student Success is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit charity exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Checks should be made payable to: Community Partners for Scaling Student Success. Your donation is only tax deductible if made to Community Partners, our fiscal sponsor and the tax-exempt entity.