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While the value of school-community partnerships is unquestioned, we do not understand sufficiently the reasons for success and failure. This mixed-methods case study examines 60 years of partnering at one urban high school using Bronfenbrenner‟s ecological systems theory to better understand the effect on student development as measured by variables such as graduation, attendance and dropout rates, Successful partners achieved “cultural cohesion” by building collaborative relationships that encircled students, while failed partnerships ignored ecological theory. In contrast to conventional reform strategies that focus on curriculum and/or school structure, the author offers a cultural reform strategy that emphasizes relationships.


Pre-publication version of article that appeared in Urban Education, vol. 46, no. 5:


Urban Education



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