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Helping Students Realize Their Potential

Partnership Education helps students realize their individual potentials by recognizing that excellence in learning is connected to long-range personal development. Students come to school with multiple and complex issues that cannot be resolved by school alone. Partnership schools/programs work with the community to support students and families.

Promoting Responsibility and Achievement

Accountability is a major topic in today's education world. However, the word accountability conjures up images of rewards and sanctions imposed by an external force. Responsibility is internally driven rather than externally imposed.

There has been a tendency to assume that nurturing communities or schools based on caring are somehow contradictory to the tenets of accountability, i.e., ensuring excellence in learning. In fact, it is in nurturing communities of learning that young people can freely actualize their human striving to excel, to be the best they can be. In partnership schools/programs, staff have a deep commitment to ensure that each child progresses and learns, and assumes responsibility.

Partnership Education recognizes that excellence in learning is connected to long-range personal development, which includes both academic (cognitive domain) and social/emotional (affective domain) development. Excellence cannot be measured only by tests designed to sort students and measure academic progress in comparison to what others know. True excellence in education focuses on the whole student as a unique individual, and is best measured using a variety of integrative assessment approaches that incorporate multiple formats for reporting what students have really learned.

Here are some strategies:

  • Working with parents, community members, and teachers to identify and understand standards and expectations for student learning that include both academic and social/emotional domains
  • Maintaining high expectations for student learning based on a caring, positive belief in each child's potential
  • Tracking every child's learning progress against pre-set standards or expectations and their individual goals
  • Designing multiple ways of assessing and demonstrating student learning
  • Reporting student learning in meaningful ways

Promoting Community Interaction to Serve Children and Families

Partnership schools/programs work with the community to support students and families. This can be facilitated by:

  • Social service office space in the school
  • Working with community groups to address violence or other issues
  • Active parent resource centers
  • Social service workers meeting regularly with staff
  • Shared resources between schools, social services, mental health services, and other community resources to ensure children receive the support they need in all aspects of their lives

The long-term vision of Partnership Education is to make schools a center for community services, meetings, and life-long learning opportunities for all community members. 

Promoting Gender Consciousness

The education we inherited from more rigidly authoritarian and male-dominated times largely ignores the needs, problems, contributions, and aspirations of women as well as traits such as caring and nonviolence stereotypically associated with the “feminine.”

We can do more to solve the problems of violence, the environment, overpopulation, poverty, social injustice, and the misdistribution of resources through education that gives visibility and value to women and caring and caregiving than with any other intervention.

By transforming our schools, we will help both girls and boys realize their untapped human potentials and plant the seeds for a peaceful and sustainable future.

The Nova School, a public charter high school in Seattle Washington, is a partnership educational development public school site. They have strengthened the partnership elements in their school and developed new curriculum materials that can be used by other schools.

A growing number of schools, including many Montessori Schools are using partnership education. Partnership education is also being used in universities and other organizations. We invite you to bring Partnership Education into your schools and communities and to also support our work at CPS.

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