$0.00 – $6.00
Catherine Preston and Lawrence Susskind
Twelve-person, two-round negotiation between six foundation board members and six school board and community leaders over efforts to address racial disparities in academic performance; internal negotiations precede external
A recent report has stated that minority groups in the Westbrook Regional School District show a significant disparity in academic performance with regards to their white peers. In response, the Executive Director of the Franklin Family Foundation (a local charitable foundation) and the Superintendent of the District have developed a tutorial program for high school minorities, to be funded be the Foundation. Reaction from the community and the School Board has been mixed. The Foundation Board of Directors and members of the community, headed by members of the school board, are meeting to discuss what should be done to proceed in improving the program. The two groups will first meet separately to determine their collective goals and objectives, and then will meet together to negotiate on the program.
Ideally, all parties should be given their roles at least a day in advance to prepare.
The simulation takes place in 2 parts. The first part involves the community group and the board members meeting separately for 45 minutes. The second part involves the two groups having a joint meeting for 90 minutes.
There should be 3 rooms available. 2 rooms should be set-up for a 6-person meeting and a one room should be set-up for a 12 person meeting.
- At least 30 minutes and preferably 1 day: preparation
- 45 minutes: separate meetings of the two groups
- 90 minutes: joint meeting of the two groups
- At least 45 minutes: debrief
- Total of at least 210 minutes
- This negotiation presents the opportunity to discuss creatively and to address a realistic problem facing many public education systems today.
- The issues, and the participant's stances on those issues, do not divide neatly. Part of the challenge of this negotiation is figuring out what is important to the individual players. Only once that is clear, can the participants begin to craft a creative solution to which the parties can agree.
- The internal negotiations within each side can quickly dissolve into interpersonal bickering and posturing.
- Learning how to work together in the face of past disagreements is key to this negotiation. Separating internal or external negotiations properly is the key to consensus building in multi-party negotiations.
This simulation is part of a series in the Council on Foundations.
For all parties:
- General instructions
- Profile of Westbrook Regional School District
- Study titled “bridging the gap” on academic performances of ethnic groups
- Notes on logistics and objectives
- Worksheet for preparing for negotiations
Foundation Board Members –
- Ellen Rigby Franklin, Chairman of the Board
- Thomas F. Leighton, Executive Director
- Stephen J. Franklin, III, Board Member
- Nancy Franklin Michaels, Ph.D., Board Member
- Kevin Macloud, Board Member
- Dr. Suzanne Lowe, Board Member
Community Members –
- Martin O'Leary, Board President
- Ruth Simone, Board Member
- Julia Statner, Superintendent of Schools
- Kyle Whitberg, President of PTA
- Lynda Johnson, President of African-American Leaders
- John Rayburn, President of Westbrook NEA
- All of the above
- Teaching Notes on logistics and major lessons
Foundations; education reform; community consultation, multi-party negotiation; collaborative problem-solving
Franklin Family Foundation and Westbrook Regional School District Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 Hours|
|Number of participants:||12|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|