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Auerbach, S. (2012). Conceptualizing leadership for authentic partnerships: A continuum to inspire practice. In S. Auerbach (Ed.), School leadership for authentic family and community partnerships: Research perspectives for transforming practice (pp. 29-51). New York: Routledge.
Despite rhetoric of collaboration, partnerships with families and community groups are rarely based on parity and common purpose. Schools typically set the agenda, positioning parents as deferential supporters and community groups as service providers. By contrast, authentic partnerships are respectful alliances among educators, families, and community groups that value relationship building, dialog across difference, and sharing power in socially just schools. This conceptual paper examines the literature on school leadership, family/community engagement, and education for social justice to problematize the term “partnerships,” argue for authentic partnerships, and offer a model of leadership for partnerships to inform practice.