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Collaborating for Change: How an Urban School District and a Community-Based Organization Support and Sustain School, Family, and Community Partnerships


by Mavis G. Sanders — 2009

Background: Research suggests that schools’ capacity to successfully implement and sustain reform programs may rest, in part, with district-level facilitation. The importance of district leadership has been established for a variety of educational reforms, including school, family, and community partnerships. However, few studies have been conducted to understand how successful district leaders implement and sustain school, family, and community partnerships as an educational reform.

Focus of Study: This case study seeks to fill this gap. It describes leadership strategies employed by the office of parent involvement in an urban school district in the United States. More specifically, this article focuses on the collaborative relationship between the office of parent involvement and a community-based parent involvement organization (CPIO).

Research Design: The study employed a multiple case study design, which included interviews with district, school, and parent leaders; observations of workshops, meetings, presentations, and other work-related activities of key district-level respondents; document collection and review; and school site visits.

Findings: Analyses suggest that the collaboration between the district’s office of parent involvement and the CPIO has helped to support and sustain school, family, and community partnerships as a reform initiative for nearly a decade. The relationship has resulted in (1) complementary parent leadership training for school-based partnership teams, (2) joint planning and implementation of districtwide partnership activities, and (3) community advocacy for district partnership personnel and resources.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 7, 2009, p. 1693-1712
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15304, Date Accessed: 9/23/2017 5:55:18 PM

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About the Author
  • Mavis Sanders
    Johns Hopkins University
    E-mail Author
    MAVIS SANDERS, PhD in education from Stanford University, holds a joint appointment as research scientist at the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and associate professor in the Graduate Division of Education at Johns Hopkins University. Her research and teaching interests include educational reform, parent and community involvement, and African American student achievement. Her most recent book, Building School-Community Partnerships: Collaboration for Student Success, was published by Corwin Press in 2006.
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