Instructional Leadership in Action

The Importance of Partnership

by Max Silverman on Oct 22, 2019


In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman emphasizes the importance of collaboration for CEL and highlights a recent story about our shared work with a partner, Blaine School District.

Partnership is at the heart of how our team at The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) works with school and system leaders across the country. Over CEL’s 18 years, we have learned again and again that multi-year collaboration in schools and classrooms leads to the greatest change for students and adults in the school systems that we support. 

The most sustainable growth comes from rigorous, committed, side-by-side effort."

We are clearer than ever about what partnership means to us. Specifically, when partnerships are rooted in courageous efforts to eliminate educational inequities, we know that:

  • Relationships matter – we all chose education for similar reasons, and working closely together over time helps us build relationships that allow our partners and us to grow together for the benefit of students.
  • Trust and confidence move us forward – as we challenge our partners and they challenge us, we both need to know that we do this to improve experiences and outcomes for students, teachers and leaders. We also aim to team up in ways that ensure confidence that our expertise, resources and approach add value to the authentic goals of the educators we work with.
  • Building expertise and improving practice takes time – we balance urgency in our work with recognition that there are no quick-fix partnerships. The most sustainable growth comes from rigorous, committed, side-by-side effort.

CEL has been fortunate to engage in many partnerships based on these ideas, in which leaders and their teams have developed rigorous cultures of teaching, learning and leading that propel and sustain long-term improvement.

The University of Washington College of Education’s Research that Matters recently highlighted CEL’s support of the Blaine School District in Washington. Our partnership with courageous leaders in Blaine illustrates CEL’s commitment to educators and their growth on behalf of the students they serve.

Read Principals Matter in The University of Washington College of Education's Research that Matters.

Topics: The Throughline, Student-centered

About the author: Max Silverman

Max Silverman is the executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) where he provides leadership for improving school systems focused on equitable outcomes for students.

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