The effects of school -university partnerships on middle school restructuring: A survey

Hector Ortiz, Fordham University


In 1994 the New York City Board of Education launched the Middle School Initiative (MSI), which was designed to improve teaching and learning for middle school students by engaging the middle schools in collaborative partnerships with local colleges and universities. This study focuses on the principles of collaboration to determine if the specific variables found in most collaborations are present in the practices of strong MSI collaboration and if these same variables can be correlated with outcomes of those MSI collaborations that have met their stated goals. The survey, Partnership Assessment Practices of Universities and Schools (PAPUS), was developed to assess the partners involved in the MSI collaborative and to see if they recognize and exhibit those behaviors and attitudes (variables) that the literature presents as essential to successful collaboration. The data collected from the surveys were entered into an ANOVA and a multiple regression analysis. The findings offered to augment the knowledge gained through the case study approach which, to date, has served as the basis of most research in this area. The PAPUS survey revealed that members of the strong collaboration teams rated more positive overall results than did members of the weak collaboration teams on 5 of the 6 variables used to define outcomes. The 1 exception to this was the variable professional satisfaction in which no significant differences in perception between strong collaboration teams and weak collaboration teams were recorded. A 2nd finding revealed that participants in weak collaborations teams gave lower ratings than participants in strong collaborations teams on 3 of the 7 should be scales: benefits, shared commitment, and trust. The weak collaboration teams perceived less value in these characteristics while participants in strong teams perceived greater value. The 3rd finding revealed a significant mean difference on the outcome of positive overall results between participants in strong collaboration teams versus those in weak collaboration teams. For both groups, the results indicated that the outcome most related to positive overall results was meeting the needs of adolescent learners. While the weak collaboration teams score significantly lower on 5 actual variables (what is), they only scored significantly lower on 3 of the 5 should be variables and it was the 2 should be variables of trust and benefit that were most related to positive overall results.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Ortiz, Hector, "The effects of school -university partnerships on middle school restructuring: A survey" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3056151.