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Akron Public Schools Hosts Carnegie Learning Leadership Network to Explore How Schools Can Better Prepare Students for the Future
[March 05, 2024]

Akron Public Schools Hosts Carnegie Learning Leadership Network to Explore How Schools Can Better Prepare Students for the Future

AKRON, Ohio, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Akron Public Schools (APS) will host the Carnegie Learning Leadership Network (Carnegie LLN) on March 5–7, 2024 to explore how secondary schools can better prepare their students for the future. Carnegie LLN school systems, including APS, are working together to discover innovative ways to provide students with learning experiences that are engaging, equitable, effective, and ultimately accelerate students' social and economic mobility. Currently, the Carnegie LLN supports the leadership teams of 10 school districts from around the country to advance their transformational work and serve as models for school redesign in secondary education. Network members convene over the school year to learn together and explore how school districts can be set up to enable student learning both within and outside of the school walls.

APS, a Ford Next Generation Learning Community, was selected to host the site visit because of their work in developing College and Career Academies of Akron, which allow every student the opportunity to earn industry credentials, transferable skills, State of Ohio Readiness Seals, and more to ensure postsecondary success. These Academies were formed using the Ford NGL framework to create small learning communities, center learning experiences around career themes, and engage businesses and local community members. This transformation has enabled students to explore career paths across multiple sectors, including healthcare operations, cybersecurity and network defense, energy and environmental protection, educational leadership, and more. This system-wide model in Akron was developed through a myriad of partnerships with businesses in the local community, from small "mom and pop" businesses to nonprofits and large organizations. Students engae in real-world learning and skill-building in an industry of their choice through a variety of research, internship, and mentorship experiences. The impact of the College and Career Academies has been dramatic, as evidenced by a rise in graduation rates across the district since their implementation in the fall of 2017. For instance, at North High School, the first APS high school to transform into the Academy model, graduation rates increased from 74.4% to 83.4% between the classes of 2018 and 2022.

During this 3-day interactive learning experience, Carnegie LLN members will explore the College & Career Academies of Akron as they hear from students, school staff, district leaders, and business leaders. The goal of the visit is to create a bilateral learning experience focused on how to build structures to equip teachers and leaders with the mindset and skills to strengthen student agency, as well as to equip all students with the self-efficacy to navigate their futures. Visiting district leaders will have the opportunity to support the Akron leadership team by providing specific feedback and will gain valuable lessons to inform their own system transformation work. Carnegie LLN will be visiting during Akron in Action: A Ford NGL Community Experience, a three-day event to demonstrate how Akron Public Schools has mobilized the larger Akron community to build and sustain the College & Career Academies of Akron. Members of the Carnegie LLN will have the opportunity to participate in select activities of the Akron in Action event, in addition to the full Carnegie LLN site visit program.  

"We are grateful to the Carnegie Foundation for its support of Akron Public Schools College & Career Academies. It is indeed an honor to be part of the Carnegie Learning Leadership Network and to work collaboratively to enhance how we prepare students for the future," said Dr. Michael Robinson, superintendent of Akron Public Schools.

"We are delighted to be visiting Akron Public Schools with the Carnegie Learning Leadership Network," said Dr. Tinkhani Ushe White, lead of the Carnegie Learning Leadership Network. "We cannot wait to participate in this dynamic learning experience to explore the College & Career Academies of Akron and learn about the creation of this system-wide model, and how it continues to be sustained by local industry partnerships and community engagement."

Carnegie Foundation President Timothy F.C. Knowles added, "We are exceptionally grateful to our colleagues at Akron Public Schools for hosting the Carnegie Learning Leadership Network. Akron is sharply focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to earn industry credentials and transferable skills for postsecondary success. That is something the nation can learn from."

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, Pell Grants, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education.

About Akron Public Schools

Akron Public Schools (APS) enrolls more than 21,000 students and employs 3,000 teaching and non teaching professionals in Northeastern Ohio. The district, one of the state's largest and most diverse, covers 62 square miles in a city of 195,000. APS educators are committed to rigorous teaching and learning, safe learning centers and community engagement to prepare young people to be well rounded and ready for the challenges of learning that follow in life. The goal of APS is to be the #1 urban school system in the United States. For more information about Akron Public Schools, visit

Media Contacts:
Carnegie Foundation: Kito Cetrulo, [email protected]
Akron Public Schools: Marsha Pohlman, [email protected]

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SOURCE Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

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