Guiding Principles for Achievement Partners

The following eight Guiding Principles, which fall into four thematic categories (The Foundation, Implementation, Continuity, and Implementation) help illustrate the characteristics of effective partnerships for schools and businesses/organizations that are interested in developing new partnerships or enhancing existing ones.

THE FOUNDATION: Developing the partnership's core values

Achievement Partnerships must be built on shared values and philosophies.

  • Begin with an open and frank discussion about values, goals and needs.
  • Respect and reflect the culture and goals of both the school and business/organization.
  • Support the core mission of the school.
  • Bolster the academic, social, and physical well being of students.
  • Compliment the social values and goals of the school, business/organization and the community.

Partnerships should be defined by mutually beneficial goals and objectives.

  • Clearly define short and long-range goals.
  • Focus on collaboration to determine activities that meet the goals of all involved.
  • Partnership goals and objectives should be aligned with education goals of individual schools and/or district.

IMPLEMENTATION: Translating values into action

Partnership activities should be integrated into the school and business cultures.

  • Partners should communicate frequently to respect and understand each other's cultures.
  • Partnerships should provide students, teachers, and business/organization employees with opportunities to interact at school and business/organization sites.

Partnerships should be driven by a clear management process and structure.

  • Each school and school district should have a point person to manage partnerships to ensure quality and alignment with educational goals for students.
  • Partnerships should include written descriptions of roles and responsibility, accountability measures, and guidelines for responsibilities of educators and business/organization employees.
  • Partnerships should include training for all key personnel.

Partnerships should define specific, measurable outcomes.

  • Partnerships should be guided by collaborative agreement on outcomes, benchmarks and measures of progress.

CONTINUITY: Sustaining the partnership

Partnerships should have support at the highest level within the business and school and concurrence at all levels.

  • Superintendents, principals, school boards, CEO's and managers should articulate and demonstrate support for the partnership internally and externally.
  • Partnerships should be explicitly supported by teachers, employees and other constituents.
  • Communities should have the opportunity to review and contribute to partnerships.

Partnerships should include detailed internal and external communications plans, which clearly illustrate expectations of all parties.

  • Partners should communicate regularly about intended and actual outcomes of all activities.
  • Communication about partnerships should allow opportunities for private and public recognition of both parties.

EVALUATION: Determining strengths, weaknesses and future directions

Partnerships should be developed with clear definitions of success for all partners.

  • Measures for success should be established at the outset of the partnership.
  • Partnerships should be evaluated on a regular agreed-upon basis.
  • Evaluation should include collection and analysis of information to determine accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses of the partnership.

The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships developed the Guiding Principles using data from opinion research and outreach.

back to top