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One way to manage educational partnerships with local businesses. (Grades K-12).

Most school-business partnerships are cemented on a piecemeal basis--a donated coupon book here, a mentoring program there--with little thought given to creating a cohesive outreach program. School administrators and corporate leaders in Carroll County, Maryland, are working on a plan to maximize the effectiveness of these local business partnerships, the Baltimore Sun reports. A similar plan might work well in your community.

"There are all kinds of partnerships out there between schools and businesses, and we're very happy about it," says one of the policy's architects, Gregory Eckles, who works at the Social Security Administration. "What we don't have is an overall plan to help us work with the growing business community and the growing number of schools."

Under the plan, the district would create a single point of contact and coordination for school-business relationships and would make it easier for local companies to suggest alliances. The partnerships would be grouped in three broad categories, the Sun notes:

* "Student-oriented offerings, including guest speakers, internships and days when students can shadow a business person;

* "School-based partnerships, such as committees of local business leaders who help teachers develop career-minded lessons; and

* "Systemwide ventures through which businesses could help develop curriculum."

Says Marty Hansen, a colleague of Eckles at the SSA, "It could be anything from giving students coupon books and helping a school with fund raising to sitting down with the superintendent and saying, `You need a new finance curriculum. Yours is outdated.'

Hansen has also pledged to create a searchable database that would contain both wish lists of business alliances from schools and education partnership proposals from local businesses. Such a database "avoids duplication and it avoids inundating businesses with the same kinds of requests from different schools," Hansen says.

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Publication:Curriculum Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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