Candor and Trust: Case Study Explores Wallace Partnership With Prince George’s County Schools

 

A candid relationship centered on mutual learning has been key to the success of Wallace’s partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), according to a case study published by Independent Sector, a research and advocacy organization representing the field of nonprofits and philanthropy in the United States. The piece is part of Model Partnerships for Impact, Independent Sector’s series about productive relationships between funders and grantees. It highlights PGCPS for persevering in its Wallace-funded work, even though the district has had three different superintendents in the five years in which it has received Wallace support.

PGCPS is one of six districts participating in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, an effort to help school districts develop a larger corps of effective school principals. The piece suggests that PGCPS was able to maintain focus on the initiative despite leadership turnover because it could speak openly about the challenges it confronted and trust Wallace to provide help in overcoming those challenges—not to be punitive. To build that trust, Wallace had to demonstrate flexibility in such matters as reallocating funds when necessary.   

Other keys to the success of the partnership, according to the piece, were commitment to ongoing funding from Wallace, a clear articulation of the goals of the partnership and flexibility to respond to local circumstances.