Building and Maintaining Strong K-16 Partnerships Across State, Regional and Local Levels
Authors: Sheila Jones, Nancy Vandergrift

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5. Conclusions

The key to PRISM's success has been the consensus decision to spend the necessary time ensuring that its partnerships grow to support educational reform. Influenced by unique cultural and organizational pressures, each PRISM region formed core partnership teams to meet PRISM goals. Regions used a process of ongoing formative assessment using a variety of measurement tools to analyze and improve their partnerships. Strengths and weaknesses vary among the multitude of partnerships from which PRISM is formed. Additionally, each partnership had its own mixture of strengths and challenges. However, core indicators of success include: meaningful communication, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, finding common goals, collaborating to change practice, and redirecting resources to solve problems. The time spent on developing a collective definition of a PRISM partnership was extremely valuable. Taken together, PRISM partnerships embody the strengths necessary to fulfill obligations and make progress toward common goals. A model of partnerships designed to be flexible enough to meet unique regional needs may be more successful than a fixed, mandated structure.


Scherer, J. (2006). Partnership Implementation in the MSP Program. NSF Document Number 02516. COSMOS Corporation: Math and Science Partnership Program Evaluation (MSP-PE). 58.