We are pleased to present publications related to our three grantmaking program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth, as well as publications about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. In the boxes to the right, you can find links to Irvine's annual reports and Grantee Perception Reports.
Linked Learning combines rigorous academics, career-based learning in the classroom, work-based learning in real-world workplaces, and integrated student supports. Rigorous, independent evaluation of the Linked Learning District Initiative conducted by SRI international shows that, compared with their peers, students in certified pathways earn more credits in the first three years of high school, report greater confidence in their life and career skills, say they are experiencing more rigorous, integrated and relevant instruction, and are more likely to stay in their school district through high school. These are important gains, and they show promise for the future of young people throughout California.
View the interactive infographic (December 2014)
Download the executive summary (December 2014) (PDF, 575 KB)
Download the full report (December 2014) (2 MB)
Read previous evaluation reports of the Linked Learning initiative below.
The evidence for Linked Learning as a systemic approach to education reform is growing. The James Irvine Foundation has invested more than $100 million in this approach, which combines four research-based elements vital to student success: rigorous academics, real-world technical skills, work-based learning and personalized support. An independent evaluation by SRI International of the initiative’s fourth year shows that students participating in Linked Learning are earning more credits, are more likely to be on track with the a–g credits required for graduation, and are reporting greater confidence in their life and career skills than similar peers in traditional high school. Plus, the nine districts implementing this approach systemically have committed to Linked Learning as their primary strategy for high school reform.
View the interactive infographic (February 2014)
Download the executive summary (February 2014) (PDF, 3 MB)
Download the research brief (February 2014) (PDF, 127 KB)
Download the full report (February 2014) (1 MB)
Download the technical supplement (February 2014) (PDF, 3.9 MB)
Read previous evaluation reports of the Linked Learning initiative below.
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take college courses and earn college credits. While dual enrollment was once geared primarily toward high-achieving students, this research by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, shows how eight programs participating in Irvine’s three-year Concurrent Courses initiative effectively integrated dual enrollment with a complementary career-focused strategy to engage struggling students. Participating students were more likely than other students in their districts to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges, persist in college and accumulate more credits.
Full Report (July 2012) (PDF, 3 MB)
The report identifies a number of important lessons for educators and administrators, as well as recommendations for policymakers. These are summarized in the following briefs:
Lessons for Educators and Administrators from the Concurrent Courses Initiative (July 2012) (PDF, 760 KB)
Recommendations for Policymakers from the Concurrent Courses Initiative (July 2012) (PDF, 762 KB)
On September 10, 2012, we conducted a webinar to discuss findings and recommendations from the report: View the webinar video.
Read past reports about the Concurrent Courses initiative:
Different Approaches to Dual Enrollment (October 2011) (PDF, 476 KB)
Dual Enrollment Policies and Practices (August 2008) (PDF, 329 KB)
These reports highlight policy changes that can help community colleges deliver career technical education (CTE) that more effectively meet the needs of their students and regions. These are the first two reports in a four-part series, funded by Irvine and published by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at California State University, Sacramento. This series of reports is well timed to help frame and inform the anticipated expansion of Linked Learning into postsecondary education. Successful CTE programs are an essential ingredient of the Linked Learning approach and should provide a clear pathway to future college and career success.
Download Report Part 1 (January 2012) (PDF, 563 KB)
Download Report Part 2 (February 2012) (PDF, 545 KB)
A new study from UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA) reveals important common ground among influential Californians about the knowledge and skills students should acquire from the state’s public schools. The points of agreement between stakeholders who span the political and ideological spectrum differ from the lofty rhetoric that characterizes much of today’s education debate, and offer hope for improving California’s public schools.
After interviewing 50 influential Californians (legislators and legislative staff from both political parties, business and labor leaders), IDEA researchers found that important principles are held in common, including a common set of valued practices in teaching and learning. There is a noteworthy correlation between these common values and the basic tenets of Linked Learning, a broad-based education reform effort supported by Irvine’s Youth program.
Download Report (January 2012) (PDF, 1.6 MB)
This report reveals very promising results for California Partnership Academies (CPAs). Even though half of CPA students enter as “at-risk students,” they perform better than students at other California high schools across a range of outcomes:
- 57% of CPA graduates fulfill the “a-g” requirements for admission to the University of California and California State University systems. This compares to 36% of high school graduates statewide.
- 95% of CPA seniors graduated, compared to 85% of seniors statewide.
These findings confirm and extend a similar report on CPA outcomes in 2004-05, and demonstrate a consistent track record of success for CPAs.
Many CPAs are part of the rapidly growing field of Linked Learning in California, an approach that provides students with strong academics connected to real world experience. This new report adds to the growing evidence that Linked Learning successfully prepares students for college and career.
Download Executive Summary (October 2011) (PDF, 98 KB)
Download Full Report (October 2011) (PDF, 4 MB)
Download News Release
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take college courses and earn college credits. While dual enrollment has historically focused on high-achieving students, these programs can have significant benefits for underperforming students as well. This report by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College analyzes eight secondary-postsecondary partnerships in California that sought to integrate dual enrollment with a complementary career-focused strategy for engaging and motivating struggling students. These partnerships, part of Irvine’s Concurrent Course initiative, join a growing movement to make career-focused dual enrollment an effective college and career preparation strategy for a broad range of students.
Download Full Report (October 2011) (PDF, 476 KB)
When rigorous academics are combined with demanding technical learning and real-world experience, students are better prepared to succeed after high school. Embracing that Linked Learning model, the Center for Advance Research and Technology (CART), a high school in Clovis, Calif., released data that clearly shows hands-on learning can lead to a higher percentage of college enrollments. The seven-year study found that participation in CART’s Linked Learning approach increased the college entrance rate by 11 percentage points — 71 percent for CART students compared with 60 percent for a demographically similar group of non-CART students.
Download Full Report (January 2011) (PDF, 582 KB)
Work-based learning is an educational strategy that links academic instruction with the world of work. By itself, it is a powerful tool for motivating students and enhancing learning. But it holds particular promise in the context of multiple pathways, an approach to high school reform in California that seeks to prepare more young people for success both in college and the workplace. This report by WestEd takes a broad look at work-based learning in California: how it is practiced, what it looks like when done well and how it could be expanded to engage more students.
Download Full Report (November 2009) (PDF, 428 KB)
High school students participating in 16 California multiple pathways programs generally graduated at higher rates, met university requirements in greater numbers, performed better on high school exit exams and were more engaged in school and learning. This report summarizes a 2007-2008 study of the ConnectEd Network of Schools, capturing positive results as well as challenges. Results are not considered conclusive, but provide encouragement and insight as Irvine launches a larger-scale demonstration: the California Multiple Pathways District Initiative. The report is also intended to offer insights to funders, policymakers and practitioners who, like Irvine, see great potential in California multiple pathways to help students build a strong foundation for success in college and career—and life. The study was conducted by MPR Associates, Inc., a leading education research and consulting firm.
Download Full Report (September 2009) (PDF, 2.20 MB)
After four years of pursuing a strategy to advance multiple pathways in California high schools, Irvine asked the Bridgespan Group to assess the state of the multiple pathways field. Bridgespan consulted with more than 80 leaders in the field, as well as a few prominent skeptics of the approach, to inform its research. A separate field-assessment framework was developed identifying five key characteristics of strong fields. This report evaluates the multiple pathways field against those characteristics and makes recommendations to strengthen and advance the field.
Download Full Report (June 2009) (PDF, 2 MB)
Download Brief (June 2009) (PDF, 265 KB)
As part of its work to advance the multiple pathways approach to high school education, Irvine engaged the Bridgespan Group to develop a framework for assessing the nature and needs of the fields in which nonprofits operate. These agents of change often struggle to understand how to focus their field-building investments and activities because they lack a comprehensive and coherent map of the strengths and weaknesses of their field. This framework provides a guide for building more robust fields and can help foundations and nonprofits prioritize their investments.
Download (June 2009) (PDF, 412 KB)
A new study funded by Irvine and released by the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice at Stanford University reveals a startling impact of the California High School Exit Exam on California’s lowest performing students. The exit exam has reduced graduation rates among girls and students of color in the lowest-performing quartile by nearly 20 percentage points. The study uses longitudinal data to examine the effects of the exit exam by comparing students scheduled to graduate just before (2005) and after (2006-07) the exit exam became a requirement for graduation from California’s high schools.
Download News Release (April 2009) (PDF, 101 KB)
Download Executive Summary (April 2009) (PDF, 117 KB)
Download Report (April 2009) (PDF, 456 KB)
A new report from the Community College Research Center sheds light on the current policies and practices that shape "dual enrollment" efforts in California. The report, funded by Irvine as part of our Youth program, demonstrates the feasibility of using dual enrollment programs to enhance college and career pathways for low-income youth who are struggling academically or who are within populations historically underrepresented in higher education. Dual enrollment programs offer high school students opportunities to take challenging college-level courses on a high school or college campus and earn college credits. Research suggests that career-focused dual enrollment programs can improve secondary and postsecondary academic outcomes for a variety of students.
Download Report (August 2008) (PDF, 329 KB)
This study examines the extent to which tests used for placement by community colleges match the content that California high school students are expected to master. The study found that while there was a fairly good match for English language arts, there were substantial gaps in math. In other words, students who take and score well on high school exams in math might not be fully prepared for math classes at a community college. The Irvine-funded study was conducted by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education in San Jose.
Download Report (March 2008) (PDF, 490 KB)
Download Summary (March 2008) (PDF, 155 KB)
This brief underscores the potential of after-school programs to advance children's academic achievement. It shines a light on what matters most for programs that strive to promote academic success namely, program quality and youth engagement and it suggests what works by linking these program attributes to academic benefits. Based on the full outcomes report "Advancing Achievement," by Public/Private Ventures, the brief draws lessons from the Foundation's Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative. CORAL was an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative aimed at improving education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities.
Download Report (February 2008) (PDF, 832 KB)
This report presents full outcomes research on CORAL, an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative aimed at improving education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities. Findings in this report demonstrate the relationship between high-quality literacy programming and academic gains, and they highlight the potential role that quality programs may play in the ongoing drive to improve academic achievement. Commissioned by Irvine, this report was written by Public/Private Ventures.
Download Report (February 2008) (PDF, 770 KB)
This report, commissioned by Irvine and written by Public/Private Ventures, examines the program improvement strategies, step-by-step, that allowed the Foundation's CORAL initiative to achieve the levels of quality needed to boost the academic success of young students. The report also makes specific policy and funding suggestions for improving program performance. Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) was an eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative aimed at improving education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities.
Download Report (February 2008) (PDF, 554 KB)
This toolkit, commissioned by Irvine and developed by Public/Private Ventures, offers program managers a practical, hands-on guide for implementing quality programming in the after-school hours. The kit includes the tools and techniques that increased the quality of literacy-focused programming and helped improve student reading gains in the Foundation's Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative, an eight-year, $58 million after-school endeavor to improve education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities.
Download Report (February 2008) (PDF, 820 KB)
New research has found English learners achieving reading gains comparable to those of their English-proficient classmates. This brief, commissioned by Irvine and written by Public/Private Ventures, presents findings that demonstrate a relationship between key approaches in CORAL the Foundation's eight-year, $58 million after-school initiative and the academic progress of English learners. In addition to presenting findings, the brief suggests important considerations for any policymaker and funder interested in the success of English learners as a growing student population.
Download Report (February 2008) (PDF, 370 KB)
This report, commissioned by Irvine and written by Gary Walker, President Emeritus of Public/Private Ventures, draws lessons from the reorientation of the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) Initiative. CORAL was a $58 million, eight-year initiative aimed at improving education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities. The report outlines the inherent challenges to making midcourse corrections to major initiatives. It also reveals lessons that foundations and nonprofits can learn from the CORAL experience, including the importance of midcourse reviews for multiyear initiatives and the value of setting clear and measurable interim outcomes.
Download Report (May 2007) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Download one-page summary (PDF, 487 KB)
2013 Annual Report
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2011 Annual Report
Grantee Perception Reports