The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is this right?

I've been thinking a lot about partnership scale lately - it seems that people operate in different partnership "zones", and leaving that orientation unstated can create some confusion and differing messages.

Take a look at the following graphic and brief description below:



In this graphic, there are four types of partnerships:

  • The outer ring is made up of Impersonal Support - the many ways that people help the schools without any significant interaction with students or staff. Examples of this would be people donating food or door prizes for events, volunteering to clean up school grounds on a weekend, giving free meeting space, and the like. There's no relationship, and the work these people do has no effect on school operations.
  • Next up is Peripheral Support. This category includes more hands-on partnership activities, but that do not affect the way the school or district goes about its business. Examples include mentoring, career days, internships, career/college preparedness programs, reading sessions and the like.
  • Substantial Partnerships is next. In these partnerships, the school or district alters the way it operates as a result of the partner intervention. Examples include Operation Excellence, in which business leaders in Montgomery County (MD) worked with district leaders to analyze and improve district operations; the work of the Simon Foundation, which provides free space in malls so that districts can open alternative learning centers; or the Gowan Project, where an ag-tech company invested in new technology, teachers, and extra support (field trips, etc.) for advanced students in a school.
  • True Integration is last, and represents situations where schools and their stakeholders become true partners, having a say in defining the purpose of education and collaboratively determining how to achieve their commonly-set goals. An example would be the academies of the National Academy Foundation, which use customized career-specific curricula and rely on local businesspeople for significant portions of the learning process.

I'm still playing around with this; if nothing else, the clunky category headers have got to be zazzed up some. But I'd certainly welcome feedback on this line of thought...

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