In this research, situated in a small urban district with a state-imposed school board, we analyze participation of community members during a three-year effort to improve schools. Through a qualitative analysis of forms of community engagement, this article offers a framework for understanding participation. We present two overlapping continua of participation by community stakeholders in school board meetings. One continuum focuses on who initiates participation, and a second represents the impact of participation. We conclude that decision making by boards is often complex, reflecting public and private moves that include and exclude stakeholders. Ultimately, participation on school boards involves listening, communication, and trust.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Urban Studies