Cross-Sector Collaboration Can Unite All Types of Schools

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To the Editor:

The article "Some Districts, Charters Forge New Partnerships" on state-led charter-district collaboration in Florida was encouraging, but if charter schools truly are to become education innovation labs, robust cross-sector collaboration is the key, and it won't be just charters doing the teaching.

This is the core belief at Schools That Can, where we work. Within our network of more than 130 high-performing schools serving high-poverty populations in 15 cities, we unite leaders across district, charter, independent, and faith-based schools to expand high-quality urban education. We see innovation in all corners, despite—or perhaps because of—the diverse governance and financial backgrounds of our schools, and they are eager to learn alongside each other.

When district, charter, and independent schools collaborate, school leaders and teachers all bring their knowledge to the room. When these groups gather for meaningful cross-sector practice sharing, they break down the silos that separate us from one another, while improving outcomes for all students.

With so much discord about educational "reform," we must create opportunities for schools to unite across sectors on behalf of students. Instead of fighting about our differences, we should focus on the power that is unleashed when we unite around common goals and build lasting solutions on the ground so every school can thrive.

Because we already know that students can.

Casey Lamb
National Director of Growth
Schools That Can
New York, N.Y.

Jennifer Husbands
Executive Director, Chicago
Schools That Can
Chicago, Ill.

Vol. 34, Issue 10, Page 24

Published in Print: October 29, 2014, as Cross-Sector Collaboration Can Unite All Types of Schools
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