How Pro Bono resources can increase proficiency levels in D.C. Charter Schools
Pro-bona volunteer services are classified as the community's help and services provided by the professionals to civil society. According to Rhode (2008) lawyers are renowned for providing legal aid to the improvised communities. The model for pro-bona volunteers includes donations of financial and services in nature. The professionals dedicate their time, expertise, and resources to facilitate the community development. It is also noted that various large organizations encourage their employees to take part in the pro-bona services. The individual professionals from neighborhood also help the institutions and schools that are not capable of hiring their services on commercial basis.
The availability of the resources and service from various professionals as pro-bona volunteers for public charter schools in DC has also enabled to increase the proficiency of these schools. The professionals have provided required help to the public charter schools in gaining required standard of performance through their expert help. The expertise sought to increase the performance of public charter schools has enabled the DC institutions to come in par with the requirements of Tier 1 and Tier 2 status developed by the DC Public Charter School Board.
There are various organizations and individuals taking part in the development of capacity and assisting DC public charter schools the "Raise DC" program is also an example of the volunteers helping schools based on pro-bona principles for IT infrastructure, database management, reporting system development, communication plan, developing school websites, branding campaigns for schools, and professional development initiatives. It is also noted that the performance evaluations and cost saving alternative income options are also facilitated through pro-bona initiatives in DC (Raise DC, 2012).
The public charter schools bridge the gap between privileged and improvised neighborhoods to gain essential education. The neighborhood schools lack the required amount of financial and technical expertise to be in line with the main stream upmarket educational institutions. The pro-bona services provided by the organizations, professional teams, and nonprofit organizations provide required assistance for the schools to develop a strategic plan and manage their resources efficiently in order to serve their mission and goals. The pro-bona services are also regarded as a help form educated and expert individuals towards developing a sustainable plan for educational institutes. It is observed that pro-bona model of volunteer services has facilitated the organizations to improve quality of education and increased their management performance (Cummings, & Rhode, 2010).
Use of pro bono services:
According to Rhode (2005) the pro bono services are offered mainly by the lawyers and professionals in the legal field. The lawyers provide their services to legal aid organizations and they are reflection of the highest professional values form certain organizations. The bar's pro bono activities include the donations and time dedication for public good. The lawyers have also made significant contributions related to personal sacrifices to allocate numerous hours of services to the improvised clients and communities. The legal assistance provided in the form of number of hours allocated as well as dedicating time by the professionals for assisting the community welfare projects. The pro bono services have gained popularity and it is claimed that it has proved out to be an effective model for delivering free legal services to the community.
Similarly the gain in popularity in terms of legal profession the volunteer pro bono services are adopted by nonprofit organizations for capacity building in various sectors. The educational institutes and other public service sectors are taking advantage of the volunteer services for providing support to the community at large.
Tier one and Tier two Washington D.C. charter schools:
The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is responsible for the ranking and assessment of the performance management framework. The PCSB has developed a criterion for assessment of public charter schools and ranked them according to their achievements. The Tier grades are allocated in accordance with the performance assessment results. The Tier 1 public charter schools are categorized as high performance institutes. Tier 1 schools has demonstrated conformance with the high performance standards. The Tier 2 schools are labeled as they fall short of the high performance criterion however they confirm to the minimum overall performance. The Tier 3 is regarding the schools that fall significantly fall short of the performance standards and as a result the PCSB can decide to close these public charter schools. The charter schools are also most sought by the parents to enter as there is shortage of seats availability. The competition of most sought schools is posing a threat to the poor neighborhood schools as the rules set by the schools indicate preference to students of nearby locations.
Teams of pro bono consultants:
The teams of consultants for pro bono services are dedicated by the organizations and volunteer individuals. The experts in various fields including marketing, information technology, human resources, and strategic management dedicate their time for schools to improve their prospects. The dedicated teams on pro bono basis often pledge their services according to available time. The initiatives taken by the nonprofit organizations and school arranged initiatives provide basis for organization of teams in particular areas of expertise. The pro bono work performed by the professionals is also evident of the concern that public reflects towards education. The pro bono services for neighborhood schools also include the professional's interactions with the students providing them adequate support without any compensation. The students are benefited with the expert advice and facilitate in skills improvement. The pro bono teams are formed according to the school requirements and required expertise in a particular field (Duhart, 2007).
The commercial organizations donating towards a charter school projects are not limited to the financial assistance. The businesses had also gained advantage of the pro bono donations to provide their professional services for various initiatives in educational sector. The nonprofit organizations are also particular in providing assistance to the charter schools. The flexible contributions are bro bono based and they can be in terms of a capacity building initiatives including strategy management, leadership development and strategic human resources, marketing, and information technology.
The strategy management pro bono initiatives are not only with respect to the assistance for schools management and capacity development. The professionals providing these services also interact with the school students and provide them required guidance for their studies and future careers. The strategy for development of personal management skills is also an essential element in providing the required care for the students. The strategy management capacity building for charter schools also includes the professional support and expertise provided by the volunteers in developing their strategic focus on building an aliened direction.
The strategy management professionals also offer their services to build an organizational capacity in the charter schools. The success of the large scale school programs is dependent on the ability to understand various forms of capacity building initiatives that can be easily facilitated by pro bono volunteers. The pro bono professionals were also treated as strategic partners in order to provide required assistance for planning process, defining the financial goals, targets, target markets, as well as short- and long-term objectives. The capacity of the schools is also enhanced along with a degree of corporate governance structure into the management activities. The public charter schools have also taken advantage of the nongovernmental nonprofit organizations to provide a strategic roadmap for sustenance and development of their capacity to align themselves with the private sector educational institutes.
Leadership Development and Strategic HR:
The lack of leadership skills and style of strategic management plays a vital role in developing an organization's strategy to success. The strategic human resources professionals providing their services for development of capacity and fulfillment of community needs is an example of assistance provided to the public charter schools in DC. The community help is essential in developing a leadership role within the administrative and curriculum of the educational institutes. The skills and expertise of pro bono professionals can be used to develop programs for enhancing leadership and strategic management of human resources in public charter schools.
The charter school governing boards take advantage of the skills and services on pro bono basis from various renowned organizations to help in developing expertise assessment and performance evaluations tools for their human resources related issues including the teachers and administrative staff members. The strategic support provided by these organizations includes the development of a performance evaluation tool to assess quality of service, management, teamwork and communications, analysis and decision making, leadership, interpersonal relations, and technical performance (Lowe, & Lin, 2006).
The example of such initiative can be quoted as the Boston Renaissance Charter School's initiative for engaging pro bono services from McKinsey & Company to review their performance. The School Lane Charter School also sought outside professional support form professionals to develop its performance evaluation tool to assess the performance of its management contractors. The Chicago Charter School Foundation and the Friendship Public Charter School (in Washington, DC) also take advantage…
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