Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Feinstein School of Education and Human Development

Department (Manual Entry)

Education Doctoral Program


Since the Industrial Revolution, when schools became larger and the missions broader, there has been an attempt by a wide range of stakeholders to have a voice in public education. More recently, through No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, the federal government began to increase requirements for multiple stakeholder engagement in decision-making for schools requesting Title I funds. As the need for a more educated workforce has grown, businesses have also sought to have a voice in improving education. Additionally, experts in the field of parent, school and community engagement, have called for the inclusion of parents, diverse faculty, staff, and community voice. An outgrowth of the federal, business, and family, school, community partnership historical landscapes, has been the development of school improvement teams, which have become increasingly common, typically with a goal of bringing together multiple stakeholders to provide input into decision-making for school improvement. However, there has been little research on the make-up of these teams, the issues they address, how stakeholders on the team are engaged, and whether the teams are connected to any other efforts in the school focused on engagement. This case study analysis richly describes the school improvement team processes of two schools in the Northeast region. The results of this study indicate that the goal of engaging stakeholders beyond administrative staff in consensus-driven, decision making teams is yet to be realized, even among schools that highly value the input of teachers, parents, youth and community partners and have rich engagement opportunities for these groups in other areas of the school. This study also offers insights into how schools might improve in these areas in the future.