THE GREAT DISRUPTION: THE IMPACT OF URBAN SCHOOL TURNOVER ON EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIP SUPPORT
Superintendent turnover has long been a persistent challenge for urban school districts and their external partnering organizations. To shed light on its impact, a comprehensive study was conducted, focusing on the six strategies outlined in the "Partnering for Student Success: A Practical Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships" framework. The primary objective was to investigate if external organizations utilized these strategies to sustain their partnership efforts and if they remained effective during periods of superintendent turnover. A qualitative research design was employed, involving 25 participants, including external partners, funders of external partners, superintendents, and teachers engaged in partnership work. Social capital theory and the significance of relationships and mutual credibility were foundational in this investigation. Analysis of the data resulted in significant findings that underscored the crucial role of relationships in establishing trust, securing funding for partnerships, retaining institutional knowledge, comprehending the superintendent's vision, and recognizing the influence of race. The study's contributions offer a set of recommendations to guide external partners in their collaborations with urban K-12 schools. Ultimately, this research aims to enhance the sustainability and effectiveness of partnerships in urban school districts, leading to improved educational outcomes for students.