New Report: Keys to Effective School Reform Partnerships
Posted by on July 4, 2003
[from Public Education Network Newsblast]
KEYS TO EFFECTIVE REFORM PARTNERSHIPS
Many school districts are turning to external reform partners to meet mounting pressures from federal and state agencies and from their communities to improve student results. But these partnerships will only be effective if districts establish the conditions that make them work for schools and communities, according to a new study commissioned by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. “Reforming Relationships: School Districts, External Organizations, and Systemic Change,” by Robert A. Kronley and Claire Handley, is a study of the relationships between “reform support organizations” (RSOs) — a range of public, quasi-public, private for-profit, and private nonprofit organizations — and the school districts they partner with in systemic reform. The report introduces the term “reform support organization” to describe the range of groups that work with school districts. This term is offered as a replacement for “intermediary,” which researchers have found inadequate to encompass the depth and breadth of external organizations that help foster education reform. The study found that reform partnerships work best when the school superintendent’s vision drives the relationship and when the superintendent involves a range of stakeholders — including the school board, teachers’ unions, and the community — to support the reform goals. Superintendents also need to empower district staff to help manage the reform and to work with the reform support organization to implement changes, the report found.
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