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Equity and Linked Learning

**Gándara, P. (2008). Immigrants and English learners: Can Multiple Pathways smooth their paths? In J. Oakes & M. Saunders (Eds.), Beyond trackingMultiple Pathways to collegecareer, and civic participation (pp.71-86). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Available for purchase at

This chapter analyzes how Multiple Pathways (or Linked Leaning) may reduce achievement gaps in college and career readiness for immigrants and English learners (ELs). The author first outlines how these student groups are more likely to perform at low levels and drop out of school due to personal circumstances, a lack of community resources, and schools’ inability to support their specific needs. She then describes the potential advantages to the Multiple Pathways approach, including meaningfully participatory courses, exposure to diverse career models and college expectations, opportunities for practical English application, earnings opportunities through paid internships, enhanced parental engagement, and additional mentors. Parental resistance, shortage of qualified teachers, and transportation issues to off-campus learning sites, the author argues, pose challenges.

The Education Trust-West. (2011, July). Unlocking doors and expanding opportunity: Moving beyond the limiting reality of college and career readiness in California high schools. Oakland, CA: Author. Available at

This article presents findings from an analysis of five districts to determine how well the districts prepare students for college and career. Using a variety of data—including student coursework, school-level master schedules, and focus groups and interviews with students, parents, and school and district staff from high schools in five California school districts—the results showed that district and school-level policies and practices did not provide sufficient access or supports for students to complete the prerequisite courses required by all state 4-year colleges or universities. Furthermore, African American and Latino students were disproportionately placed in lower-rigor or career-technical education (CTE) courses. Furthermore, the authors argue that the CTE courses that students were enrolled in were frequently disjointed courses rather than a pathway for career-readiness. The authors argue that the adoption of the Linked Learning approach could offer integrated and meaningful pathways to ensure that all students are college and career ready.  

**This document is considered a priority reading.