For the last four years, Fresno Unified has been involved in a collaborative partnership with Long Beach Unified identifying best practices in mathematics, English learning, and leadership development. Their partnership also gained the attention of researchers who studied their relationship, and recently issued an overview of how such collaborations could benefit districts.
Fresno Unified's superintendent says he and his counterpart in Long Beach decided to work together after they realized they shared the same issues and challenges, as the third and fourth largest districts in the state.
"It only takes one teacher, in one classroom to show best practice to someone and it does catch like wildfire," said Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson.
The districts have used grant money to share some resources and staff. Hanson says math scores at schools have gone up about nine percent as a result.