ERIC Number: ED375458
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
The Politics of Collaboration: How an Educational Partnership Works.
Baker, Linda M.
This case study examined how representatives of one high-profile partnership worked to influence their associated school. Analysis drew from the "power-influence" perspective of educational policy analysis, a "microcosmic" approach that illuminates the political dynamics of an organizations by analyzing how people in organizations interact politically to produce particular outcomes. The case study was conducted in a major West Coast city in a small, innercity high school populated primarily by Asian and African-American students. It is the site of a 4-year, all-city magnet program aimed at attracting minority students into the teaching profession. The program has been supported since 1989 by four major parties: the primary industrial employer in the state; the College of Education of a respected state university; the largest urban school district in the state; and one of the major national computer manufacturers. Data were derived from: (1) meeting transcripts and field notes; (2) taped interviews with the four main partnership representatives, two founding teachers of the magnet program, and the school-district partnership administrator; (3) journal entries; and (4) document analysis. Findings indicate that this partnership influenced every aspect of its associated school program, and that this influence was manifested in three ways--in formal meetings, through pairs and small groups, and through brokers or linkers. Implications are that intensive community involvement in a school can lead to confusion about the "inside/outside" relationship; partnerships that exercise considerable influence in a school are working outside the normal hierarchy of district decision making; people who are skilled at bridging roles are critical partnership members; and a partnership's influence is related more to the dynamics of interpersonal interactions among pairs of people or small groups in informal settings than to large group interactions in formal meetings. Four tables and the data coding scheme are included. Contains 36 references. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).