Criteria for "best practices"
The Foundation - Developing the partnership's core values
Partnerships must be built on shared values and philosophies
- Begin with an open and frank discussion about values, goals and needs.
- Respect and reflect the culture and goals of both the education and business partners.
- Support the core mission of the school.
- Bolster the academic, social and physical well being of students.
- Compliment the social values and goals of the school, business partner and the community.
Partnerships should be defined by mutually beneficial goals and objectives
- Clearly define short and long-range goals.
- Focus on collaboration to determine activities that meet the goals of all involved.
- Be aligned with education goals and board policies of individual schools and/or districts.
Implementation - Translating values into action
Partnership activities should be integrated into the school and business cultures.
- Partners should communicate frequently to respect and understand each other's cultures.
- Partnerships should provide students, teachers and business employees with opportunities to interact at school, community and business sites.
Partnerships should be driven by a clear management process and structure.
- Each school and school district should have a point person to manage partnerships to ensure quality and alignment with educational goals for students.
- Partnerships should include written descriptions of roles and responsibilities, accountability measures and guidelines for responsibilities of educators and business employees.
- Partnerships should include training for all key personnel.
Partnerships should define specific, measurable outcomes
- Partnerships should be guided by a written collaborative agreement on outcomes, benchmarks and measures of progress.
Continuity - Sustaining the partnership over time
Partnerships should have support at the highest level within the business and school and concurrence at all levels.
- Superintendents, principals, school boards, CEO's and managers should articulate and demonstrate support for the partnership internally and externally.
- Partnerships should be explicitly supported by teachers, employees and other constituents.
- Communities should have the opportunity to review and contribute to partnerships
Partnerships should include detailed internal and external communication plans, which clearly illustrate expectations of all parties
- Partners should communicate regularly about intended and actual outcomes of all activities
- Communication about partnerships should allow opportunities for private and public recognition of both parties.
Evaluation - Determining strengths, weaknesses and future directions
Partnerships should be developed with clear definitions of success for all partners.
- Measures for success should be established at the outset of the partnership
- Partnerships should be evaluated on a regular, agreed-upon basis
- Evaluation should include collection and analysis of information to determine accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses of the partnership.
Source: The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships: Guiding Principles for Business and School Partnerships