ERIC Number: ED385892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Developing an Educational Quality Benchmark System (EQBS): A Partnership in Restructuring.
Acker-Hocevar, Michele; And Others
Thirteen school districts, a regional training network, and a university in Florida formed a partnership to develop support for the implementation of the statewide plan, "Blueprint 2000." Funded by the Florida Department of Education, the partnership used a quality and systems framework for helping the schools and districts in their restructuring efforts. This paper describes first-year outcomes of the project, one of which was the development of the Educational Quality Benchmark System (EQBS). The paper explores the equal importance of focusing on partnership processes and strategies that encourage ongoing identification, dialogue, and negotiation of basic epistemological and philosophical assumptions. These issues contribute to developing a shared vision of the product, processes, and outcomes for successful partnerships. Part 1 defines partnerships, the policy background of the alliance, the purpose of the partnership development, and the project design. Part 2 investigates different beliefs and philosophical assumptions about constructing partnerships around scientific rationalism and social constructivism, choices made both at the personal and organizational levels for the social construction of a partnership around dominator or partnership mental models of power. Factors that contribute to successful partnering include a shared vision, common values, communication structures, the missing trust factor, and power. Part 3 describes two models in the EQBS and their promise for restructuring schooling. It is contended that process is as important as the product. The failure to discern the magnitude of differing world views, the erroneous assumptions made concerning collaboration, the neglect to establish shared definitions and mental models, and the lack of communication structures contributed to misunderstandings among project partners. Transformative partnerships call for a new language that leaves the scientific rational model behind and incorporates some of the premises of humanism, quality, and systems thinking into its processes and work design. Four figures and two tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).