Graduation Date

5-2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

To compensate for declining public school budgets, an increasing number of local public education organizations are soliciting and accepting financial support from U.S. corporations. There is considerable debate as to whether corporate involvement ultimately aids or hampers students’ academic achievement, and there are many conflicting opinions as to the sorts of problems that corporate involvement creates. This study is aimed at determining what types of cooperative efforts between corporations and educational institutions are currently functioning across the spectrum of school-business partnerships, and what type of oversight is needed to make them work better. A qualitative method was applied as the primary basis for organizing this research. The project utilized case studies and research literature to examine the positive and negative aspects of these relationships. The sampling group included an expert in the field of education and a corporate executive involved in school-business partnerships. This paper analyzes the business community’s current involvement in the public schools, various case studies and suggestions as to how these two entities might collaborate. A quality public education is a right, not a choice for our children. “According to the most recent Funding Gap report by the non-profit group The Education Trust, many states still provide the least amount of funding to school districts serving students with the greatest needs” (Woodruff, 2008, para. 5). It is imperative that we find alternative approaches that address this imbalance. Our nation’s future demands this, because success will depend on the academic achievements of our young people. The results of this study demonstrate that schools and businesses support these relationships, but the fear of change is holding us back. To a significant extent, this resistance is stunting our nation’s development.

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