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New Study Released on Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education

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Mar 02, 2016

A new report from the Wallace Foundation, published by Teachers College, Columbia University, describes the historical and contemporary landscape for cross-sector collaborations for education. Recognizing the surge in interest for collaboration within education – largely following John Kania and Mark Kramer’s 2011 article on collective impact – the authors survey over 182 cross-sector collaborations that met a criteria of being “place-based, multi-sector, collaborative leadership efforts focused on educational outcomes.” Ultimately, the report provides an in-depth context for why stakeholders engage in collaboration, how collaborations evolve, and the factors that make collaboration more likely in given geographical locations.

Some of the trends identified by the report include the following:

  • “A substantial number of the cross-sector collaborations for education predate the contemporary collective impact movement and are still operational, offering encouragement that the general idea of collaboration is indeed viable. Nearly 60% of the 182 initiatives in the scan were launched before 2011 and nearly 20% before 2000.”
  • “Collaborations are found in many of the nation’s largest cities and throughout all regions of the nation. Almost 40% of the collaborations are located in the Midwest, a proportion almost twice as large as that region’s share of the U.S. population and more than twice as great as its share of large cities. In contrast, the South has a lower proportion of collaborations relative to its population size.”
  • “The number of local collaborations that are initiated with the support of a national network, or that seek out such support at some point in their development, appears to be growing. Slightly fewer than half of the collaborations have some national network affiliation. StriveTogether is the largest network.”
  • “Collaborations vary in the breadth and depth of their membership and in their governance and operational structures. Most commonly represented on high-level leadership boards or committees are business leaders, with 91% of collaborations in the scan having at least one business leader on their board. School district representatives are included on 91% of the boards. Higher education (87%) and social service agencies (79%) are the next most common organizations represented.”

Read the full report here.


This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.