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Collaborative Efforts in the Preparation of Educational Leaders

ePub

GUEST EDITOR

GEORGE J. PETERSEN1

With the blurring of geographic boundaries, the global context of business and the economy, the speed and sophistication of communication and modern technology, as well as other external trends, there is an increasing emergence of more collaborative structures in all types of organizations to achieve a variety of objectives (Bergquist, Betwee, and Meuel, 1995; Greenberg, 1996). With the proliferation of these endeavors, ranging from multinational corporations and local nonprofit organizations to universities and schools, the study on interorganizational relationships has begun to suffer the consequences of its own growth. The increasing acknowledgment that organizations typically operate in a relational context of environmental connectedness and that organizational survival and success often depends critically upon linkages to other organizations has generated a vast but highly fragmented literature on the subject (Oliver, 1990). While the extant literature provides insight into the motivation and complexity of myriad types of interorganizational collaboratives across a wide array of institutions and sectors, rigorous attention to the development and delivery of educational programs remains scant (Donaldson and Kozoll, 1999).

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A Typology of Partnerships for Promoting Innovation

ePub

BRUCE G. BARNETT1

GENE E. HALL

JUDITH H. BERG

MARGARET M. CAMARENA

ABSTRACT: As educational partnerships and collaboratives have become more popular in the last several decades, researchers and practitioners have sought to understand why these arrangements flourish or flounder. Taking into consideration the contextual factors affecting partnerships, we have conceptualized a framework of the types of partnerships that can develop between a school system and an external resource agency. The framework reflects the dynamic nature of partnerships, including the growing complexity of interorganizational arrangements that exist as partnerships move from a cooperative to a collaborative relationship. We conclude by discussing the value and utility of this framework as school districts and external agencies consider establishing short- or long-term partnerships.

The term partnership has become a mantra in education. Talk about the importance of partnerships can be heard at all levels of our education system, from policymakers to practitioners to community members. Partnerships are currently seen by many as the ultimate cure for all of the ills of education. The belief in partnerships has become so strong that they are used increasingly as the lever to bring about reform within and between agencies, institutions, organizations, individuals, and groups. For example, as the 1990s are coming to a close, partnerships are viewed so positively that they appear as mandates in federal statutes, such as the Higher Education Act of 1998 and the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In addition, in teacher education a set of standards for professional development schools has been developed to describe what constitutes an ideal partnership between a college and a local school. With this flurry of activity, one could easily be led to believe that by simply humming the mantra—hmmm—partnership—hmmm—all that needs changing in education will become reality.

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Interorganizational Collaboration in a Statewide Doctoral Program: A Lesson in the Construction of Meaning

ePub

JAY PAREDES SCRIBNER1

JAMES R. MACHELL2

ABSTRACT: This article explores interorganizational collaboration using case study methodology. The study examines a statewide doctoral program for the preparation of educational leaders involving several public universities in a midwestern state. Building upon a theoretical framework focused on interorganizational relations (IORs), findings clustered around three themes are reported: (1) reasons for engaging in IORs, (2) factors that enhance or constrain collaboration, and (3) evidence of collaboration. The findings advance our understanding of reasons for creating an IOR and the nature of social processes that reflect collaborative relationships that occurred within it. The results of this study may be beneficial to those who seek to engage in similar collaborative efforts.

In response to societal, economic, and pedagogical pressures for change, colleges of education and departments of educational leadership have increasingly sought to design and implement alternative formats for the preparation of educational leaders. One of those alternatives, instructional cohorts, has emerged as a popular program delivery strategy because of its effectiveness in catering to nontraditional students. This case study examines a unique cohort program in which several public universities in a midwestern state created an interorganizational program to increase student access to a high quality doctorate of education program in educational leadership.

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Improving Urban Schools VIA Leadership: Preparing Administrators for the New Millennium

ePub

LANCE D. FUSARELLI

LEW SMITH

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an innovative, highly collaborative administrator preparation program specifically designed to prepare leaders for schools in the new millennium. Building upon and extending best practices in administrator preparation programs, the paper describes how a research university and a large urban school system came together to jointly develop and implement a preparation program to meet the needs of urban schools. After discussing the specifics of the program, the paper examines barriers to collaboration and details lessons learned through the collaborative process. The paper concludes with an assessment of the likelihood for reforming administrator preparation programs in light of institutional barriers to collaboration.

Our schools need new leaders for the coming millennium. Superintendents across the nation frequently bemoan the shrinking talent pool of potential administrators, particularly in large urban areas which face intense competition from neighboring suburban districts for top leaders. This frustration is grounded in several recent studies. The March 18, 1998, issue of Education Week reported that “Principals’ Shoes Are Hard to Fill,” and summarized a study jointly commissioned by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (Keller, 1998). This random survey questioned those charged with hiring school administrators in 403 districts with enrollments of 300 or more students. The basic finding “supports the conversation we’ve been hearing that there is a shortage. There are not great numbers of qualified people applying” (p. 3). Similar findings were reached in a study by New Visions for Public Schools that summarized, with alarm, the lack of qualified candidates to assume school leadership positions in New York City, the nation’s largest public school system (New Visions for Public Schools, 1999).

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Reshaping Urban Education: A School—Community—University Collaborative Initiative

ePub

DAVID A. ERLANDSON1

LINDA SKRLA1

DARLENE WESTBROOK2

SYLVIA HORNBACK2

ALEJANDRO MINDIZ-MELTON2

ABSTRACT: This article describes the planning phase and first year implementation of a doctoral cohort program for urban principals that is a collaborative effort of the Department of Educational Administration at Texas A&M University and the Austin Independent School District. The guiding vision, organization, and curriculum of the program are discussed, as well as the involvement of multiple other contributing groups and individuals. Recommendations are offered for other universities and/or school districts considering similar collaborative doctoral programs focused on the improvement of urban schooling.

Two of the most perplexing problems in American education have been the continuing failure of schools to serve fully the needs of all students regardless of their race or socioeconomic status and the frustration of attempts to bring together separate stakeholders to collaboratively address educational issues in which they have a mutual interest (Bliss, 1993; Cibulka, 1992; Forsyth, 1993; Lomotey, 1997; Trueba, 1991; Valencia, 1991). These two problems are closely related in urban environments. The complexity of large cities often brings the agendas of schools, universities, government, and social agencies into conflict over matters in which they ought to be partners (Shirley, 1997). Interest in addressing and resolving the problems of U.S. urban schools and the communities they serve is increasing as “urban education issues re-emerge as a central concern of researchers and policy makers. High rates of school failure and under-achievement, particularly for poor children and those of color, have focused attention on how to improve urban schools” (Cibulka, 1992, p. 27).

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