Updates include the L.A. Compact Signing Ceremony, Charting Progress Toward L.A. Compact Goals and Data Walk, along with news from all of our workgroups.
On December 14th, the L.A. Compact hosted a Signing Ceremony at the library of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools Campus to welcome new signatories. LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl, and LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo became the newest signers of the Compact, uniting the district, its teachers, and greater Los Angeles civic leadership in a cross collaborative partnership to benefit public education. The event marked the first time in the nine year history of the L.A. Compact that UTLA joined as an official signatory. LACOE’s continued partnership with the Compact represents L.A. County’s commitment to improve student outcomes among some of our most vulnerable system-involved youth.
Other L.A. Compact leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the Compact’s three goals for all students, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer, AALA President Juan Flecha, Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino, and First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé. Soraya M. Coley, President of Cal Poly Pomona, and Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer with the L.A. County Federation of Labor, signed the Compact earlier in 2016.
UNITE-LA recently published Charting Progress Toward L.A. Compact Goals which tracks cradle-to-career outcomes in the L.A. region. The report includes latest-available and longitudinal data on a range of relevant indicators for LAUSD, L.A. County, and California, selectively disaggregated by race/ethnicity. The full report and executive summary are available at www.lacompact.org/measures_reports.
Charting Progress serves as a tool for the L.A. Compact and community to improve our collective impact efforts. To roll out the report and bring attention to recent student trends, UNITE-LA held its first L.A. Compact Data Walk on December 12th; members of the Compact’s 17 workgroups and other community leaders engaged with the report at poster stations, where discussions were facilitated by experts from the L.A. Compact Data Workgroup.
At the Stewardship Group’s most recent meeting on February 17th, members discussed a stakeholder engagement process for revising the L.A. Compact agreement in 2017 to produce an updated “Compact 3.0.” The group seeks to address: an explicit focus on social and racial equity; more robust strategies around early education, postsecondary attainment, and opportunity youth; new strategies to reflect the role of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, LACOE, and County agencies in the Compact; and revisions to the Compact’s three student success goals. Several advisory working groups will be convened in 2017 to inform the Compact 3.0 revisions.
The L.A. Regional STEM Hub, in partnership with Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) hosted a meeting with Los Angeles' industry leaders and local Workforce Development Boards to discuss the workforce needs and skills gaps biotech companies are facing in the L.A. region. Grifols Biologicals Inc.’ s President Willie Zuniga and the City of L.A. Economic and Workforce Development Department shared their successes in collaborating with LAVC to develop expansive training opportunities across L.A. community colleges and universities to address workforce and up-skilling needs for employers in the biotech sector.
With support from UNITE-LA and the Bixel Exchange, two Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative member institutions submitted proposals for Governor Brown’s 2017 Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. The awards recognize innovative strategies that promote student success by shortening time to degree completion and/or making college more affordable. East Los Angeles College submitted a proposal that would leverage partnerships with the Bixel Exchange and General Assembly to provide work-based learning opportunities to students in computer science pathways. LACCD submitted a proposal to launch the L.A. Reverse Transfer Pilot, an initiative between CSU Northridge, L.A. Mission College, Pierce College, and L.A. Valley College that would award a first-time associate degree to community college transfer students who have stopped out of a 4-year program at CSUN. If selected, each project would receive $2.5 million in one-time funds to carry out these initiatives. The awards committee will meet in late March 2017 to determine recipients.
The Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) workgroup held its most recent meeting on February 1, marking a major milestone in the partnership. After several years of working together to initiate a data sharing partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and local teacher preparation programs, the partners finalized a data exchange at the meeting. With renewed funding provided by the Bechtel Foundation, the partners will now turn their attention to data analysis in order to answer their agreed-upon research questions, and to begin assessing their preparation pathways.
The Student Success Workgroup has continued to make progress in assessing opportunities for regional collaboration. On December 20th, the group met to share additional information related to community college transfer pathways and strategies to increase public awareness of these pathways. Representatives from LACCD and CSUN also shared updates on their efforts to develop a reverse transfer pilot in the valley, a topic that the Student Success Workgroup first began exploring in July 2016. Dr. Teshia Roby, the Cal Poly Pomona representative to the Student Success Workgroup, will be participating in a Lumina Foundation convening in Atlanta, GA on February 16-17th to learn more about collective impact approaches to postsecondary attainment. She will share back learnings at the next workgroup meeting on February 22nd, during which partners will discuss innovations in assessment and remediation.
In January, the Chamber hosted a convening of Los Angeles stakeholders committed to a future built on the skills of our workforce and the competitiveness of our business and industry. The purpose of the conversation is to raise the awareness and importance of workforce education and training and to shape workforce development policy and implementation in 2017 and beyond. The meeting was the first step in the Chamber’s re-launch of the Los Angeles Regional Workforce Systems Collaborative.
The School Readiness Workgroup (SRW), convened by First 5 LA, held its last in-person meeting on October 27, 2016, which fully launched the workgroup into a deliberate transition of the work to ongoing efforts related to each of the subgroup priorities: Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS), and Family Engagement. In the following months, SRW members, with the help of Glen Price Group (GPG), will focus on sharing relevant updates, surveying opportunities for future collaboration, and developing a final report which will synthesize lessons learned, elevate messaging that can be used to inform policymakers and program implementation and inform considerations for future collaboration in LA County. The report will be available in Spring 2017.
L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (LA OYC), convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights held the first official OYC Stewardship Committee meeting in November and met again in February. Members include decision-makers from LA Unified School District, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Alliance for Children’s Rights, First Place for Youth, LA Area Chamber of Commerce, LA City Economic & Workforce Development Department, LA County Workforce Development, Aging Community Services, Community College Consortium, the Office of Child Protection, Extraordinary Families, Children’s Law Center, Department of Children and Family Services, ifoster, and an OYC Young Leader. The two meetings have been quite productive. The group discussed the goals and impact of the OYC, opportunities to bridge the systematic gaps affecting our youth as well as the governance structure and the decision making process moving forward. The next meeting will be in April.
The OYC Young Leaders, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights finished their first year strong by participating in over 30 speaking engagements, focus groups, and other foster youth related activities where they were able to advocate for themselves and their peers. They are currently recruiting current and former foster youth, ages 18-26, for the next cohort starting in March. The deadline to apply is February 20.
The previous OYC Quarterly Meeting, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights was held on November 7, 2016 at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce. The agenda included highlighting employment and workforce development programs, a presentation by John Burton Advocates for Youth about the new Foster Youth College Advancement Program, an overview of the OYC’s current data collection efforts, and a brief demo of the OYC Resource Guide. The next OYC Quarterly Meeting will be at Los Angeles City College on March 1.
The OYC Subsidized Jobs Workgroup, convened by UNITE-LA, is looking forward to reconvening in March to gear up for an additional allocation of foster youth dedicated slot funding for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, as well as to advocate for a robust allocation of foster youth slots for the upcoming 2017-2018 fiscal year. Additionally, this workgroup will discuss expanding the scope beyond the County’s Youth Employment Program 120 hour subsidized jobs to include additional subsidized employment and supportive services initiatives, such as Bridge to Work, City and County P3 initiatives, as well as WIOA.
This year, the OYC Jobs Program, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights expanded to other regions of Los Angeles to provide the job training and employer matching to more foster youth. In January, the OYC launched its 5th cohort at Citrus College with over 20 youth. In March, they will be running two cohorts simultaneously, one at East Los Angeles College and the other at LA Trade Tech.
The OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Program (OYC FYCAP), convened by the John Burton Foundation and UNITE-LA, met on January 19th to explore ways to engage foster parents and caregivers in regional efforts that increase direct college enrollment and expand financial aid access for foster youth. The partners discussed best practices and challenges in this realm, hearing directly from providers like Fedcap and the L.A. Trade Tech College Foster Care and Kinship Education Office. In addition, the partners shared updates on two new partnerships between the Children’s Law Center and the Edelman’s Children’s Court, and between L.A. Cash for College, the DCFS Independent Living Program, and local community colleges that engage child welfare partners in providing direct FAFSA assistance to foster youth. While FYCAP will continue to explore the topic of caregiver/ foster parent engagement and programmatic partnerships, it will focus its next meeting on February 23rd on how to best embed FAFSA completion goals and strategies within DCFS and LACOE.
The L.A. Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3), convened by the L.A. City Education & Workforce Development Department, convened the full partnership at a strategic planning retreat on October 24th at the Annenberg Foundation – Skylights Studios. P3 continues to roll out a regional implementation strategy. In addition to the City’s P3 initiative, LA County applied for a P3 grant as well. Partners will find out soon whether or not the County will be awarded a federal P3 designation.