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Knowledge From the Field

Reframing Education: The Partnership Strategy and Public Schools

Published: September 2005

Publisher(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

Author(s): Hirota, Janice

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York

Related Organization(s): New Visions for Public Schools, Youth Development Institute of the Fund for the City of New York

View Report (114 pages; 242KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Low-performing Schools

Abstract: The Carnegie Corporation commissioned a three-year study to evaluate the effectiveness of the New Visions for Public Schools’ New Century High Schools Initiative. The initiative aims to transform chronically low-performing large high schools (as identified by the Department of Education) into campuses of autonomous small schools. Deliberately sited in Department of Education designated low-performing high schools, these schools enroll students who are often unengaged in and unprepared for high school-level work.  The defining feature of the NCHS initiative is the community partnership strategy, which mandates a partnership between the participating schools and community-based organizations.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+ Effective collaborations between DOE staff, teachers, and organizational partners have added greater resources, new approaches to teaching and learning, and professional development to the program.

+ It has become clear over time that the partnership strategy acts as a lever for reform. School-level partnerships require a reframing of the methods and content—that is, the means and meaning—of high school education.

= Principals and involved organizational staff members find themselves at times in the role of an intermediary link between the school and the organizational partner. The ability to look in two directions helps facilitate the partnership, but it also adds complexity to staff members’ roles.

= All involved staff are dealing with challenges, glitches, and unexpected consequences as they experience pressure to get things going in the initial stages of the program.

Geographic Focus : New York, NY

Subjects/Keywords : Low-performing schools; student achievement

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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