Partners is nearing the end of a three-year period of piloting new network-based strategies for delivering our approach to school and district transformation. While that work remains promising to help us improve the outcomes for more schools, leaders, teachers and therefore families, we also aspire to have impact far beyond the places that we ourselves directly touch.
At the same time, the pandemic has disrupted a lot of what public education services and supports are able to accomplish, and exposed the systemic racism and its impact on the lives of Black and Brown children. In so doing, it has also identified areas of intense opportunity. We have a strong sense that the field is at an inflection point, and that only those who are well-informed and ready to be bold will be able to emerge from this period even better prepared to improve outcomes in a major way. Partners has already proven effective in supporting the most challenged schools in their efforts to improve, but the COVID-19 situation highlights a long acknowledged need for us to better share our learnings and increase our influence in the field.
To help us better understand where there are opportunities to use our learning to influence those working in low-performing schools serving predominantly Black and Latinx students from low-income communities, Partners assembled an internal, cross-departmental workgroup to conduct interviews with 22 leaders from around the country (e.g., reformers, allies, supporters, district partners). Some of you were part of those interview discussions and we very much appreciate your partnership in this process! After reviewing all the interview recordings and notes, we identified five key emerging ideas. We shared these ideas with internal staff and collaborated to gather their feedback in February and presented the ideas to our Board of Directors in early March. Our next steps will be to decide which 1-2 ideas to further investigate, craft “new vision” language, and begin market research and strategic planning.
We will continue to keep you apprised of our progress in this exciting journey to craft a new 5-7 year vision for the organization.