Thank you for your steadfast dedication to improving educational outcomes and closing attainment gaps for children and youth in Los Angeles. We hope the new year brings you a renewed sense of purpose and optimism for the future.
At its final meeting of the year, the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group received a briefing on LAUSD’s ReIMAGINING campaign and engaged in a robust conversation about the Compact’s new two-year priorities.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner shared his vision for how to empower schools and achieve greater equity for students. Following the briefing, group members explored how Compact partners can help the district design a strategy to improve its infrastructure and coordination of school services.
Over the past year, Compact partners have been updating its priorities so that they align with current workgroup activities and existing partner commitments. As a part of this process, the Stewardship group members formally adopted 10 new two-year priorities that reflect our current areas of focus and momentum. Stewardship Group members will continue to play a key role in updating the Compact in 2019 to ensure our goals and priorities reflect our shared vision.
Building on the Compact’s commitment to ensuring racial equity, Stewardship Group members will participate in a half-day retreat facilitated by the National Equity Project on January 24th. With generous support from the Lumina Foundation, the retreat will help the Stewardship Group develop common a vocabulary, conceptual frameworks, and practical tools that will assist us in applying an equity lens to our work.
Joint Advocacy Workgroup
The Joint Advocacy Group convened in early December for its 2019 legislative retreat. The group charted its 2018 legislative wins and losses and began discussing potential 2019 priorities, including early childhood education, special education, FAFSA simplification, immigration, emergency financial aid funding, food insecurities in schools and homelessness. 2019 priorities will be finalized and approved at the mid-January meeting.
Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative
On December 5, the IHE Collaborative partners came together for their year-end convening. This gathering provided the partners an opportunity to reflect on 2018 and celebrate achievements associated with initiatives like CSUN Connections, the L.A. College Promise, and the L.A. Educator Pathways Partnership. It also provided the partners with an opportunity to look forward and discuss opportunities to refresh the IHE Collaborative’s set of commitments, given the development of new and revised L.A. Compact goals. Attendees participated in a gallery walk to discuss revisions and additions to existing commitments in preparation for the release of the updated L.A. Compact agreement in 2019.
L.A. College Promise - In the latest data report provided to the L.A. College Promise (LACP) Executive Committee, there is promising evidence that the LACP is helping more local students enroll and persist in college. Over the past two years, the LACP has steadily increased the number of LAUSD first-time freshmen enrolling in LACCD colleges full-time (up 56.2% from 2016). The LACP has also maintained persistence into the second year at 75%, with 50% of students continuing to enroll full-time. Given the diversity of the student cohort, the partners are now looking to address unmet basic needs which can derail students from graduation. LACCD plans to use a portion of their state AB 19 funding to provide discounted transit passes, as well as stipends for books, or meals. The Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has continued to provide valuable enrichment opportunities for Promise Scholars, including leadership opportunities through the Mayor’s College Promise Student Advisory Board and international travel opportunities through the Mayor’s Young Ambassadors Program. In 2019, the LACP partners plan to organize regional student conferences, host an inaugural class graduation celebration, and continue to advocate for sustained state funding.
Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) - LAEPP partners convened in November to discuss the next phase of our project concentrating on STEM teacher preparation, thanks to new funding from the W.M. Keck Foundation. In 2019, the higher education and LAUSD partners will further our data sharing efforts and analyses of successful teacher preparation pathways—inclusive of the STEM teacher population—while revisiting existing data priorities, capacity, and resources. The group plans to start the new year by discussing the STEM-related goals of the new project phase and reviewing each campus’ existing data.
Student Success Workgroup - On November 5, representatives of the Student Success Workgroup traveled to Berkeley, CA to participate in the statewide “Mathematics of Opportunity” convening. Hosted by Just Equations, an initiative of the Opportunity Institute at UC Berkeley, the convening brought together higher education systems leaders, math faculty, education policy experts, and researchers to discuss equity challenges in the secondary and postsecondary math pipeline. Campus representatives had the opportunity to learn about recent state policy developments pertaining to developmental math assessment and instruction, and flag ongoing challenges to scaling and sustaining evidence-based practices. In November and December, the Student Success Workgroup began meeting with Provosts from the local California State University (CSU) campuses to explore interest in designing a shared plan to improve local Associate Degree for Transfer pathways. Associate Degrees for Transfer provide prospective transfer students with an articulated and accelerated path from the California Community Colleges to the CSU system.
CSUN Connections - The CSUN Connections partners at CSUN, L.A. Mission College, L.A. Pierce College, and L.A. Valley College made considerable progress at the end of 2018. First, the partners completed over 500 electronic student record exchanges and preliminary degree audits. From these efforts, the partners identified 129 formerly enrolled CSUN transfer students who already satisfied all of the requirements for an associate degree. The partners will reach out to this group in January 2019 to alert them of how they can claim their completed associate degree. In addition, the partners initiated an email outreach campaign to formerly enrolled students who were just short of completing an associate degree. Through CSUN Connections, these students will have the opportunity to re-enroll at a participating community college, where they will received targeted advising, support, and priority registration to help them finish final degree requirements. In addition to being served by designated CSUN Connections counselors at each participating community college, these students will also be assisted by CSUN College of Education graduate students to develop an education plan that works best for their unique circumstances. The goal of CSUN Connections is to help adults who left college apply their previous coursework to earn an associate degree--which can provide an immediate boost in the workforce while encouraging them to continue on for their bachelor’s degree.
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment
Back in October, the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners gave First 5 LA staff the green light to move forward with finalizing the second cohort of school districts that will start collecting early development index (EDI) data in the 2018-19 school year. On November 13, 2018, the LAUSD Board of Education unanimously approved a $13.2 million grant from First 5 LA to expand the use of the EDI in Local Districts Central, West, and the remainder of Local District South. The EDI provides school districts with a snapshot of how their youngest learners are faring when it comes to their health, development and school readiness. Communities can also use the EDI to drive innovation in early childhood policy and service delivery systems that could lead to better outcomes for young learners. The L.A. Compact commends LAUSD’s commitment to the EDI and school readiness. The school district’s action helps us get closer to our collective goal of ensuring all children in Los Angeles County are healthy and ready to succeed in school.
L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights
Fostering Careers L.A., convened by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce & Alliance for Children’s Rights - In December, the OYC convened an Advisory Group of stakeholders to inform the development of a new Foster Youth Career Readiness Guide. The group reviewed feedback from four focus groups conducted in October and a draft content outline for the guide.
Fostering Careers L.A. partners collaborated with the OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Project to organize the 2nd Annual Fostering Connections to Higher Education & Careers Summit in November. The L.A. Chamber, L.A. County Workforce Development Aging and Community Services Department, and the South Bay Workforce Investment Board presented to over 50 higher education and DCFS staff who work with foster youth on how to access workforce resources in L.A. County. View the full presentation here.
OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Project - On November 29, the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and UNITE-LA teamed up with Cal State L.A. and the ReLAY Institute at the CSU5 to host the 2nd Annual Fostering Connections to Higher Education & Careers Summit. This event brought together 117 foster youth service providers from across the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, the L.A. County Departments of Children and Family Services and Probation, the seven workforce development boards in L.A. County, and the 20+ colleges and universities in the region. The event featured presentations on how to engage and motivate youth in early career exploration, information on accessing local workforce development resources, perspectives from former foster youth on how to help youth make successful transitions to college, as well as information on in-demand occupations and training programs in the region. As a result of what they learned at the Summit, 98% of respondents stated they would follow up with someone they met to request information or help, 94% stated that they would connect a foster youth to a college support program or to the DCFS Independent Living Program, and 91% would make a referral to a local workforce program.
L.A. Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3)
The next quarterly meeting of LA P3 and the Opportunity Youth Collaborative will be held on Friday, January 18th from 10 am to 11:30 at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Room, 350 S. Bixel Street. The meeting will feature updates on the great work of the OYC, L.A. Area Chamber, iFoster, YouthSource, LA County and many other partners in connecting foster youth to employment.
L.A. Workforce Systems Collaborative (LAWSC)
The Workforce Systems Collaborative met in December to discuss a compilation of employer engagement efforts across the LA region to support the development of coordinated approaches and Credential Engine - a national project to make the credential market more transparent. The group will convene via videoconference in January to revise the Compact’s career readiness and success goal with the Data Work Group.
Health Sector Collaborative (HSC)
The Health Sector Collaborative is working towards finalizing a pilot project and 2019 workplan to make existing health care career pathways more navigable for students and workers to support career and income growth and meet employer demand for workforce retention and upskilling.