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A Review of Instruments to Evaluate Partnerships in Math and Science Education

Abstract

The importance of the role of partnerships in research is evidenced by the federal government's, private sector's, and nonprofit organizations' continued interest in and approach to funding research through these vehicles. In education research involving inter-organizational partnerships, partnerships are needed to create coordination and alignment across institutions of higher education as well as within K-12 systems. Successful partnership building requires significant resources in terms of human effort and dollars spent. It is therefore critical that partnerships evaluate themselves and their activities. This paper provides a description of and reviews instruments that measure different aspects of partnerships and further suggests that instead of using any instrument in toto, that it be modified for evaluation of specific traits of a partnership and validated in the local context. The paper further provides an illustrative example of educational evaluation from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Program, which calls for inter-institutional partnerships among institutions of higher education, local education agencies, state education agencies, and other for and nonprofit entities.

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