At the end of each school year, members of the National Network of Partnership Schools complete UPDATE surveys to report progress and challenges. Last spring, NNPS researchers presented results of analyses of 2001 data at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.1 Here, we summarize conclusions from two papers on factors that promote high quality school, district, and state partnership programs.
Analyses of UPDATE data from
577 schools in 2001 revealed three factors that help schools sustain
high quality programs of partnerships.
The school districts in NNPS vary greatly. Located in 31 states, Canada, and DoDDS, districts range in size from 1 school to over 900 schools. The state departments of education in NNPS are in all regions of the country, from Maryland with 24 districts to California and Texas with over 1000 school districts.
These essential elements are not perfected in one year, but a good start helps districts sustain and improve their programs over time.
Schools, districts, and states in NNPS are becoming increasingly diverse, but there are some common factors that promote high quality partnership programs in all locations. Programs improve with teamwork, written plans and implemented activities, support from colleagues, adequate funding, tools and guidance from sources like NNPS, and persistence. NNPS is working to help all members develop these essential components of high quality partnership programs.
1. These research papers were supplemented by reports from NNPS members Jane Grinde, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Charlotte Castagnola, District B, LAUSD; and Linda Fine, Magnet Middle School, Stamford, CT on their work on partnerships.
2. From: Van Voorhis, F. L. & Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Five-year study: Developing quality partnership programs in schools. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans (April).
3. From: Epstein, J. L., Williams, K. J., and Lewis, K. C. (2002) Five-year study: Key components of effects of partnership programs in states and school districts. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans (April).