Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman

Second Supervisor

Debra R. Lamb


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of parent engagement on the academic achievement of African American students in an urban middle school in the northeastern region of the United States. Middle years are a transitional time for middle school students as they face more challenges academically and become more independent and socially aware of their surroundings. This phenomenological, qualitative study explored the perspectives of the African American parents/guardians and their engagement, relative to their sixth, seventh, and eighth grade children and their academic achievement in an urban school. Bronfenbrenner’s (1977, 2005) ecological systems theory (EST) and Bell’s (1976a, 1976b) critical race theory (CRT) were the two theoretical frameworks that informed this study. Historically, African American parents/guardians have a strong voice that has been either silenced or ignored. This study confirmed that the participants in this study, African American parents/guardians demonstrated care and concern, and actively participated as engaged parents. Additionally, these participants in the study, African American parents/guardians, utilized a system of best practices and willfully advocated for their child at home and in school.

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