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Citation:Adger , C. T. (2001). SchoolÐcommunity-based organization partnerships for language minority studentsÕ school success. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 6(1&2), 7-25. EJ624197.

This study of partnerships between schools and community-based organizations (CBOs) describes the types of CBOs that partner with schools, the ways partners work together, and the work they do. Partnerships were selected because they were considered to be successful in promoting the academic achievement of language-minority students. The study found three types of CBOs: a) ethnic organizations, which serve a general culture-brokering function for the school, the students, and their families; b) the special purpose CBO, which operate only one program, and c) the multi-purpose CBO, the most common type, which provide more than one program. The partnership programs tended to be structurally variable and fluid, often changing partners and modifying programs. Some operated at the academic core of the school program, while others offered academic opportunities outside of the school program. All, however, addressed student achievement by serving multiple functions, such as: preparing parents for their childÕs schooling, increasing parent involvement, reducing behaviors that interfere with schools, preparing students for work, involving the community in public education, improving studentsÕ English language proficiency, improving instruction, and improving inter group relations. Four program elements were identified as essential to partnership success: adequate resources, structural and programmatic flexibility, responsiveness to clients, and program evaluation. The authors concluded that school partnerships with CBOs and other organizations helped broaden the base of support that language minority students were likely to need. Although 62 programs met the criteria for study, only 31 partnerships responded to the survey. Field notes from site visits to 17 of them were coded, sorted and analyzed following traditional qualitative research procedures. Program reports, videos, and informational brochures were also reviewed. This article is an easy read, and provides a list of the CBOs studied as well as many helpful examples about their programs. The discussion on characteristics of effective programs may be useful to those who are designing and operating new partnerships and programs. This study did not attempt to measure the impact of these partnerships.

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