Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Hannah

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Liggett

Third Advisor

Dr. Larry Lezotte


The question that this study seeks to answer is. Does site-based management increase student achievement? Researchers believe that when a school can function more like a closed system, involved in site-based decision making, the culture of the organization may be more conducive to higher student achievement. This study has attempted to determine if there is a basis for this belief.

Supporting the study are three organization theories. Bureaucracy Theory, Systems Theory, and Human Resource Development Theory. These three theories run like threads in a tapestry throughout the research and legislation upon which this research is developed.

Researchers, up to this point, had not focused on the components of site-based management and their implementation, or lack thereof, and the effects it has on student achievement; nor had any research defined site-based management. The first step in the study was to set a standard by which schools could be held to determine if site-based management exists within the building. An expert panel of educational reformers chose 57 of 75 characteristics that had been disaggregated from the literature review as the set of standards.

This study gathered SBM implementation data from 19 schools in Michigan who began a planning year in 1994-95 to implement site-based management as outlined in the Improving America’s Schools Act, Title I. The data determined whether SBM was in place as measured by the Expert Panel’s standard. Then, when possible, the change in student achievement within those schools was determined from the baseline year, 1994-95, to the study year, 1997-98. Student achievement was measured by Michigan’s Assessment of Education Program (MEAP).

None of the schools in the study met the standards declaring it site-base managed. The schools were rank ordered by their degree of implementation and then the MEAP student achievement data was rank ordered. From the data gathered, there appears to be no impact of site-based management on student achievement. A future study could revise the standards or perhaps weight some of the characteristics.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access