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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Need for Cross-Level Collaboration in Educational Reform

  • Author(s): Lee, Wendy Tan
  • et al.

In recent years, as society’s expectations have evolved, institutions of higher education and their communities are coming to understand the levels at which they are interdependent. At the same time, many leaders in educational reform are realizing the need for systemic change across all levels of schooling. K-12 schools are turning to resources from outside agencies rather than relying solely on their districts for support. In an environment where colleges and universities are reevaluating their missions to include public service and where K-12 schools are searching for external assistance, both parties’ interests may be joined through the formation of school-university partnerships. The time is optimal for those in higher education to combine efforts with those in K-12 on reform issues throughout the educational pipeline, in collaborations that maximize resources as well as potential results. This paper reviews the need for school-university partnerships and introduces some common partnership models, concluding with the key characteristics that have been found to be necessary for their success.

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