|Citation:||Cordiero, P. A., & Kolek, M. M. (1996). Connecting school communities through educational partnerships. In P. A. Cordiero (Ed.), Boundary crossings: Educational partnerships and school leadership (pp. 1-14). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc.|
This article reviews the current status of educational partnerships. The authors examine principles, conditions, and characteristics that support effective collaborations. The concept of comprador, a boundary-crossing ambassador who serves as the necessary link between multiple cultures, is introduced as a new ingredient essential to establishing effective collaborations. The authors support the concept of the school as a community center that connects citizens and assumes the support role previously supplied by people's friends and extended families (Lerner, 1995). As a result, partnerships form because individuals want to address the academic, social, emotional, physical, and ethical development of their communities' children. A framework for thinking about partnerships (Lipnack & Stamps, 1995) is provided as "know-how" for administrators and principals. The framework includes five elements that are fundamental to successful partnerships and collaborative efforts: common purpose, autonomy, and voluntary links to and from the schoolhouse, emergent leaders, and a web of relationships. Authors consider the processes of developing, sustaining, and enhancing collaborations, and discuss characteristics of effective partnerships and the conditions that promote, maintain, and institutionalize them. Conditions that precede and support partnerships are discussed, as well as characteristics of effective partnerships. Authors note that the most formidable obstacle to the widespread adoption of educational partnerships is the failure to legitimize school-community collaborations as part of a school's typical service delivery structure. This article defines the role of the educational leader as comprador, which literally means buyer. Like the compradors of China, educational leaders must be bi- or multi-lingual and bi-cultural and facile with the shared language that is created as different organizations with different cultures come together.
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