Skip to main content

External Partnerships

External Partnerships in Linked Learning

Darche, S., Nayar, N., & Bracco, K. (2009). Work-based learning in California. San Francisco, CA: The James Irvine Foundation. Available at

This report examines the work-based learning landscape in California through a literature review and through interviews with practitioners and researchers. The authors argue that work-based learning, combined with a rigorous academic curriculum, is a powerful educational strategy for motivating students and enhancing learning, especially within the context of Linked Learning. Outlining the important components and types of work-based learning, the authors stress the importance of strategic partnerships with business and community organizations, as well as with community colleges through dual or early enrollment. The piece concludes with systemic changes to policy and practice necessary to effectively implement work-based learning, such as professional development for administrators on creating and maintaining partnerships.

Valmonte, L. (2011). The bottom-up approach to quality education: How youth & parent organizing strengthen Linked Learning pathways to both college and career. Los Angeles, CA: Alliance for a Better Community. Not available online.

Drawing on successes of community organizing in other education reform efforts, the author advocates for concentrated efforts to increase both parent and student engagement in Linked Learning. In order to enhance program quality and sustain improvements, the author positions students as critical partners in Linked Learning, while stressing the importance of parent awareness and engagement to: position their child for success; advocate for their child and the Linked Learning movement; and contribute to informed school-level decisions that improve the quality of the Linked Learning programs. The brief concludes with recommendations for action at the school, district, and state levels to promote families’ engagement in the design and implementation of Linked Learning.

Linked Learning Partnerships in Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD)

LBUSD has created the Educational Business Advisory committee made up of community, business, government, and educational leaders to guide programs and facilitate communication and connections between stakeholders implementing Linked Learning in the district. This information, gathered from LBUSD’s website, provide an overview of the history, membership, and activities of these committees.

Advisory committee information. Available at _guide.cfm and

Understanding Partnerships

Coburn, C. E., Bae, S., & Turner, E. O. (2008). Authority, status, and the dynamics of insider-outsider partnerships at the district level. Peabody Journal of Education, 83(3), 364-399. Available at

This paper investigates the underlying conditions in which school districts negotiate and sustain meaningful partnerships with outside organizations; these partnerships can instrumental for maintaining educational improvements at scale. Drawing on a longitudinal case study of partnership efforts between a mid-sized urban district and a university-based research center, the authors examine the “authority relations” (i.e., the power and control validated by social norms), “status dynamics” (i.e., the social standings negotiated in social interactions), and “organizational structures” (i.e., the multiple levels and divisions in the system) of each entity involved in the partnership. The paper concludes with implications for understanding different configurations of “insider-outsider” partnerships.