Concept Paper (1997):
Bay Area School-to-Career Action Network (BaySCAN)
The Bay Area School-to-Career Action Network (BaySCAN) is a coalition of business, labor, education, school-to-career (STC) provider and local STC partnership organizations aimed at developing a Bay Area regional infrastructure to support school-to-career programs and initiatives. Through regional activities focused on areas of common interest such as employer engagement, collaboration among local school-to-career partnerships, and joint industry-school efforts on curriculum, standards, whole school reform, public policy, and public information, BaySCAN initiatives will lead to significant career and learning opportunities for Bay Area youth.
Were the Bay Area a nation, it would be the world's 23rd largest economy. Employment is surging in the region, yet little of this will translate into career and learning opportunities for Bay Area youth if a regional infrastructure of employers, schools, and third-party intermediary organizations is not developed at the necessary scale and capacity.
Three years have passed since the passage of the National School-to-Work Opportunities Act. Though much activity is taking place both regionally and nationally, few opportunities exist today for Bay Area youth to engage in quality work-based learning opportunities. Few employers are engaged, few schools have restructured to support the kinds of applied and work-based learning approaches that can engage all students in preparation for college and high-performance work, and communities within the region do not yet possess a significant third-party intermediary organization that can broker the relationship between industry and schools. There is activity, but little infrastructure exists, and no system is in place. Student, employee, and industry performance suffers as a result.
The Bay Area is a hotbed of K-12 school reform activity, but high schools, a key link to the workplace and to industry-education partnerships, lag badly behind. Bay Area school districts and intermediary organizations are the recipients of several million dollars in direct federal school-to-career grants. Nevertheless, these local partnerships are unlikely to achieve their wide ranging missions without radically improving their efficacy and impact. Locally, there is a resurgence of employer interest in and activism about public education, but that interest has not been channeled into substantive leadership and widespread commitment to workforce development through school-to-career efforts.
The Bay Area School-to-Career Action Network (BaySCAN) is an organization of organizations. Its purpose is to strategically share personnel, expertise and resources across several high leverage areas (see Scope of Work) so as to have the greatest impact on educators, schools, communities and employers that are using a school-to-career focus as a means to achieve systemic K-16 education reform. BaySCAN hopes that such initiatives will provide young people with the quality work-based learning opportunities that will help them acquire the skills to be productive workers and citizens in the twenty-first century.
BaySCAN will not supplant existing organizations, nor will it create new ones. Instead, as a coalition, it aims to leverage cross-region partnerships and resources so that employers offering quality work-based learning opportunities can relate to a regional system and so that high schools that are restructuring around STC can share curriculum, organizational strategies, and collaborate around the development of STC programs and career pathways.
BaySCAN members believe that a transformed educational system and strengthened community and business supports are essential to adequately prepare the regionís young people for:
- Success in the twenty-first century work force;
- Self-regulated, life-long learning; and
- Active participation in a democratic society.
BaySCAN views School-to-Career as an educational opportunity for all young people, college bound and non-college bound, and supports high school reform efforts that incorporate the following school-to-career principles developed by the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC) School-to-Career Task Force, 1996:
- A whole school approach offering all students preparation both for college and careers.
- Integrated instruction around broadly defined occupations and other engaging themes.
- Learning which comes from real life experience.
- Instruction driven by performance measures and based upon commonly understood standards.
- Partnerships with key stakeholders, including employers, the community, parents, higher education, and support providers.
- Development of the organizational capacity to realize reform goals.
Several convergent factors make the San Francisco Bay Area a particularly promising environment to develop a regional School-to-Career infrastructure in ways that will radically improve studentsí preparation for fulfilling careers, life long-learning and active citizenship.
- School reform with a school-to-career focus. The Bay Area has a strong and diversified school reform community with a history of collaboration and a solid track record of reform. The $50 million Hewlett-Annenberg Challenge has generated a critical mass of K-12 reform activity in schools and districts throughout the region and expects to invest $10-15 million in funding for 6 to 10 high schools using a focus on school-to-career as a lever for whole school change. Currently, nearly 25 percent of the regionís high schools are substantively engaged in this school-to-career effort (62 of the 255 high schools in the nine Bay Area counties currently have at least one career pathway academy).
The California Partnership Academies, which have demonstrated success over the past decade, were created in the Bay Area and continue to maintain a strong presence here. At least one major school district (Oakland) is in the process of redesigning its high schools so all students will participate in school-to-career academies.
- Local partnerships that share resources. The six-county Bay Area currently has three direct federally funded school-to-career partnerships in communities (Oakland, Alameda/Contra Costa counties and Santa Clara county) that serve 77 percent of the regionís school children. Since their funding, these partnerships and other emerging local partnerships in San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, and Marin counties have met regularly to discuss common issues, learn together share resources, and make proposals to the state of California for STC partnership funding.
- Knowledgeable support providers that collaborate. The Bay Area is home to several strong national school-to-career support providers, many of which are federally approved technical assistance providers. These organizations are familiar with each otherís strengths and capabilities. They frequently refer clients based on this expertise and often work in collaboration with one another.
- Economic growth and corporate leadership. After years of downsizing and economic decline, unemployment in the region is relatively low and economic growth is surging. Businesses are now much better able and willing to invest personnel and resources in workforce development efforts. Key business leaders are poised to provide peer leadership in this arena, but are concerned about being asked to support multiple, disconnected efforts.
Scope of Work
The work of BaySCAN will be designed in such a way as to add value to the ongoing work of member and affiliate organizations.
The specific work plan for BaySCAN will include:
Promote a State STC Legislative Agenda.
Working through its member organizations, and in conjunction with partner groups such as the California Business Roundtable, BaySCAN will promote public policy initiatives aimed at scaling up the initial local and regional partnerships established through federal seed funds and the federally funded California School-to-Work grants, building regional STC systems, and funding adequately on a long term basis the STC connecting activities between schools and employers.
Create school-industry-higher education networks that promote whole school change and career/industry clusters in key regional industries.
- Develop Support for school-to-career as a lever for whole school change. Create state-of-the-art tools and processes and a learning network that will accelerate and deepen the whole school change process. Expand beyond the Hewlett-Annenberg leadership schools and ensure that urban schools are well-represented and supported.
- Engage employers on a regional basis. Develop industry cluster/career pathway programs and quality work-based learning opportunities for students. Develop a network of region-wide third-party intermediaries to broker connections between employers, community organizations and schools.
- Build higher education connections with community colleges and four-year institutions. Develop partnerships between high schools, higher education, and employers around industry cluster/career pathway programs and internships. Overcome institutional barriers to reform.
- Initiate school-industry-higher education networks to develop and share curriculum, standards, assessment and accountability processes, tools, and results.
- BaySCAN Multimedia Network. Develop the school-industry-higher education infrastructure for a Bay Area Regional Multimedia Network, as detailed in the BaySCAN's 1997 finalist round proposal to the U.S. Department of Education for a Technology Innovation Challenge Grant.
Coordinate Technology Investment to Serve the Regional STC Structure and Increase Collaboration among BaySCAN Partner Organizations
Develop partnerships to implement a technological and telecommunications infrastructure that will support a regional STC system. Create regional databases and an STC regional technology infrastructure for communications and operations.
Develop cross-region public engagement strategies (informational forums, workshops, broadcast, publishing, Internet) aimed at communicating and marketing the strengths and benefits of STC programs to parents, youth, educators, employers, policymakers, community agencies, and citizens.
To the extent possible, BaySCAN will rely upon re-deployment of existing resources to support its work. For instance, virtually all of the federally funded local partnerships in the Bay Area (and throughout Northern California) and many of the Hewlett-Annenberg Challenge schools are devoting considerable resources to developing and understanding standards and assessment. BaySCANís initial resource strategy will be to work with member and affiliate organizations to identify common agendas and overlapping work, and to add value by creating more powerful and in-depth joint or overarching work plans where appropriate. Additional resources will then be sought to supplement these re-deployed resources or to support strategic work in areas where there are fewer existing resources.
Resources will be needed in the short-term to supplement member contributions to the coordinating and planning functions of BaySCAN.
Membership & Services
BaySCAN will endeavor to create meaningful, multi-directional communication among a variety of constituencies and stakeholders. However, full membership in BaySCAN will be limited to those organizations and individuals who agree to play a leadership role and who commit to provide substantial personnel, financial and/or in-kind resources to support BaySCANís mission and work plan.
During the Spring of 1997 a core of some twenty organizations, representing business, K-12 districts, higher education, educational reform organizations, STC support providers, local school-to-career partnership organizations, and funders, met to consider the development of the BaySCAN coalition. The BaySCAN working group included:
Steven Arcelona, President, Private Industry Council
Larry Baack, Executive Director, Bay Area Economic Forum
Dr. Paul Berman, President, Research, Policy, Practice
Brady Bevis, Executive Director, Bay Area Multimedia Partnership
Bill Erlendsen, Director of Community Development, San Jose Unified School District
Dr. Bette Felton, Executive Asst. to the President, California State University, Hayward
Dr. Kimberly Ford, Senior Program Officer, Walter S. Johnson Foundation
Steven Glick, Dean, School of Business, City College of San Francisco
Robert Goetsch, President, Bay Area Industry Education Council
Paul Lovoi, President and Chief Executive Officer, INTA
William Maybeck, Director of Education, Siemen's Business Communications
Daniel McLaughlin, Research Associate, WestEd
Sunne Wright McPeak, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bay Area Council
Joel Montero, Superintendent, Novato Unified School District
Daniel Moraio, Assistant Superintendent, Campbell Union High School District
Sharon Oldham, East Bay STC Partnership Coordinator, Alameda COE
David Pava, Principal, James Logan High School
Bob Pearlman, President, Autodesk Foundation
Richard Schorske, Executive Director, Workforce Silicon Valley
Dr. David Stern, Director, National Center for Research in VocEd
Larry Stupski, Vice Chairman, Charles Schwab and Company
Steve Trippe, National Director, New Ways Workers
Dr. Chui L. Tsang, President, San Jose City College
Dr. Merrill Vargo, Director, Bay Area School Reform Collaborative
Dr. Allie Whitehurst, Director, School to Career Program, Oakland USD
Diana Wolf, Corporate Education Programs, Bank of America Foundation
The BaySCAN concept has met with considerable enthusiasm. At the third meeting on June 16 the BaySCAN working group voted to launch the BaySCAN coalition and to invite key representatives from the labor movement and more organizations from each of the sectors listed above. An Interim Steering Committee will work this Summer developing the membership criteria for BaySCAN and plan a Fall recruitment effort.
In the Fall of 1997 BaySCAN, as a coalition of organizations, will launch an membership drive aimed at Bay Area high schools, school districts, community colleges and four-year colleges, employer groups, businesses, labor, STC partnership and provider organizations, and funders.
For additional information, contact:
Bob Pearlman, Autodesk Foundation
(415) 507-5892 |
Sharon Oldham, BaySCAN
(415) 507-6841 |