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Q&A: Improving Private-Public School Partnerships

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In the second part of his two-part Q&A series with the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, Education Week opinion blogger Peter Gow checks in with John Chubb now that he has a year under his belt at the head of NAIS.

In the first part, Gow asked Chubb about the issue of fast-rising tuition among private or independent schools. In this Q&A, Gow and Chubb discuss how private schools can get a bigger foothold in the national education conversation, and improve private-public school partnerships.

Here's an excerpt from their conversation:

PG: We've seen increasing activity in the development of independent school-public school partnerships lately, and I'm wondering if you have thoughts on how these relationships can develop in ways that are symmetrically beneficial [...]

JC: I am a big believer in public-private partnerships, of the genuine variety, where the learning goes in both directions. I applaud our schools that have forged partnerships and model them for others through the National Network of Schools in Partnership. However, I have been disappointed in my first year with NAIS in the progress schools of all types have made with this idea. I have discussed the idea with national leaders of charter schools and urban public schools. Everyone likes the idea. But frankly, we are all so busy with challenges unique to our respective sectors that collaboration falls down the priority list. And then there is also the matter of competitive threat.

That said, I was impressed by the professional development partnership forged by the Washington International School and local public and charter schools. I think we have lots to learn from each other in the areas of talent recruitment and development (think Teach for America), leadership development, and education technology, to name a few areas. I have blogged about these opportunities recently and hope folks interested will have a look.

You can read the full conversation here, and the first part of this Q&A here. Finally, you can check out the two-part Q&A between Gow and Chubb from last year here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

Related: Converting Catholic schools to Charters Draws Scrutiny

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