The Value of Partnerships as a Mechanism for Systems Change: The Florida Experience (1974-2006)

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Virginia Tech


The value of collaborative regional professional development partnerships as the mechanism for implementing a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD), a mandate of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1997, in one state was investigated. The historical organizational case study examined this issue from the perspectives of those initially and currently involved with regional professional development partnership implementation. Participants included individuals representing three different perspectives (i.e., state education agency, institutions of higher education, and local education agency) A qualitative case study research design was used to gain in-depth information from varied sources about participants' views of Florida's system of personnel development prior to the implementation of regional professional development partnerships, as well as the perceived value of the regional professional development partnerships from those who were currently involved. Data sources included interviews and a review of relevant documents. Data analysis included the process of inductive analysis which allowed themes of the study to emerge from the data. Conclusions drawn from the study's findings included: (1) the critical importance of leadership, (2) the importance of relationships, (3) the developmental nature of partnerships, (4) readiness, roles, and responsibilities, (5) benefits and barriers, and (6) the importance of institutional memory and active involvement.



partnerships, systems change, state level, personnel development, CSPD, Collaboration