The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 includes several provisions that support the implementation of Linked Learning in California. Linked Learning is an approach to high school redesign that combines rigorous academics, career-based learning in the classroom, work-based learning, and integrated student supports. These four components are woven together in industry-themed pathways that provide for a relevant hands-on learning experience for high school students.
Under ESSA, assessments must include measures that assess higher-order thinking skills and understanding and may be partially delivered in the form of portfolios, projects, or extended-performance tasks. These higher-quality assessments measure the skills and competencies developed by students who participate in Linked Learning more effectively than traditional assessments. In addition, ESSA authorizes funding that California can use to develop and implement these assessments.