ERIC Number: ED447208
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
School Districts and Research Organizations: Partners for School Improvement.
Lauer, Patricia A.; Wilkerson, Stephanie B.; Goodwin, Bryan; Apthorp, Helen S.
This paper describes partnerships created by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) that were designed to facilitate school improvement through collaborative action research. After analysis of these partnership experiences, several recommendations were developed for creating and sustaining effective partnerships between research organizations and schools or districts. McREL selected seven partner sites, one from each state in the region McREL serves, to represent various geographic locations and student populations. As the work of these projects progressed, wide variance became evident in the stability of the partnerships, and only four were maintained for 3 years as initially planned. After documenting and analyzing the development and outcomes of the partnerships, five factors were identified that influenced the sustainability and effectiveness of the partnerships: (1) the political and cultural context of the school districts influenced multiple facets of the partnership ; (2) partners' motivation to engage in the partnership was increased as they saw that their efforts made a difference; (3) establishing clear goals kept the partnership on course; (4) partnerships were strengthened by partners' different yet complementary resources and skills; and (5) committed leadership at various levels was critical. The implications of these findings for the development of future partnerships with school districts are discussed. (Contains 24 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning, Aurora, CO.