Striking the Balance

Career Academies Combine Academic Rigor and Workplace Relevance

By Thomas J. Smith

This "snapshot," published by the National High School Center, takes a close look at implementation of the Career Academy model, a popular high school reform that combines academics with career development opportunities, in a high school in Oakland, California. Painting a picture of one high school’s experience, the resource documents the mechanics of the program, how it prepares students for college, and the challenges encountered along the way. A recent report from MDRC shows that Career Academies can produce sustained employment and earnings gains, particularly among young men.

Smith, Thomas. 2008. “Striking the Balance.” New York: MDRC.