Understanding District-Charter Collaboration Grants (Final Report)

Understanding District-Charter Collaboration Grants (Final Report)

Published: Aug 30, 2016
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

Evaluation of the District-Charter Collaboration Grants

Time frame: 2013-2016

Prepared for:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Moira McCullough

Kevin Booker

Betsy Keating

Michael Cavanaugh

Key Findings

Key Findings:

  • Cross-sector collaboration can and did occur and was viewed as facilitating the transfer of effective practices.
  • Participants perceived the grant activities as helping to build their crosssector professional networks.
  • The grant activities were seen as having a positive impact, but the scope of the impact was on a small-scale and generally confined to those directly participating in the activities.
  • Perceived structural factors, rather than a lack of interest, inhibited crosssector collaboration—and without formal opportunities, cross-sector collaboration may not have occurred to the extent it did.
  • Although there is variation across cities, most had a general climate that was not closed to cross-sector collaboration, although some negative perceptions of the opposite sector remain.
In November 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested in seven innovative district-charter partnerships with “the potential capacity and commitment to accelerate student college ready rates through deep collaboration and sharing of best practices.” This report synthesizes findings across multiple data collection sources and offers broad findings from across the three-year grant period.

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