The purpose of this study was to examine internal and external supports of an information technology themed (whole school) urban magnet high school located in a low-income urban community within the Southeastern region of the United States. We found the academy to be an exemplary case study for how schools can build a high profile reputation with investment from key stakeholders within the district and school as well as with the community, business/industry, and postsecondary partners. The internal investment of the school was spearheaded by not only the principal, but also district leaders (e.g., superintendent) as well. The career specialist opened the doors to external investment (e.g., business/industry, community members, postsecondary partners). Characteristics that contributed to the academy’s success included effective school leadership, effective communication, and ongoing collaboration.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adams, M., & Zuniga, X. (2018). Core concepts for social justice education. In M. Adams, W. Blumenfeld, D. Catalano, K. DeJong, H. Hackman, L. Hopkins, B. Love, M. Peters, D. Shlasko, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed., pp. 41–49). New York, NY: Routledge.
Astor, R., & Benbenishty, R. (2019). Bullying, school violence, and climate in evolving contexts: Culture, organization, and time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bacharach, S. B., Bamberger, P., Conley, S. C., & Bauer, S. (1990). The dimensionality of decision participation in education organizations: The value of a multi-domain evaluation approach. Education Administration Quarterly, 26(2), 126–167.
Badgett, K. (2016). School-business partnerships: Understanding business perspectives. School Community Journal, 26(2), 83–105.
Ballou, D. (2009). Magnet school outcomes. In M. Berends, M. G. Springer, D. Ballou, & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of research on school choice (pp. 409–426). New York, NY: Routledge.
Ballou, D., Goldring, E., & Liu, K. (2006). Magnet schools and student achievement. In National center for the study of privatization in education. NY: Teachers College, Columbia University.
Banks, G., McCauley, K., Gardner, W., & Guler, C. (2016). A meta-analytic review of authentic and transformational leadership: A test for redundancy. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(4), 634–642. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2016.02.006.
Bell, L. (2018). Theoretical foundations for social justice education. In M. Adams, W. Blumenfeld, D. Catalano, K. DeJong, H. Hackman, L. Hopkins, B. Love, M. Peters, D. Shlasko, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed., pp. 34–41). New York, NY: Routledge.
Bell, J., & Taylor, J. (2015). Principal academies in urban public schools: A literature review and multifaceted conceptual model. Journal of School Leadership, 25(6), 1088–1129.
Bifulco, R., Cobb, C., & Bell, C. (2008). Do magnet schools outperform traditional public schools and reduce the achievement gap? The case of Connecticut’s interdistrict magnet school program. In Occasional paper no. 167. New York: National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
Black, I. (2006). The presentation of interpretivist research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 9(4), 319–324.
Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Boutte, G., & Johnson, G. (2014). Community and family involvement in urban schools. In H. Milner & K. Lomotey (Eds.), Handbook of urban education (pp. 167–187). New York, NY: Routledge.
Boyatzis, R. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Carter, P. (2003). “Black” cultural capital, status positioning, and schooling conflicts for low-income African American youth. Social Problems, 50(1), 136–155.
Coburn, C., Russell, J., Kaufman, J., & Stein, M. (2012). Supporting sustainability: Teachers’ advice networks and ambitions instructional reform. American Journal of Education, 119(1), 137–182. https://doi.org/10.1086/228943.
Dolph, D. (2016). Challenges and opportunities for school improvement: Recommendations for urban school principals. Education and Urban Society, 49(4), 363–387. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124516659110.
Dumas, M. (2016). Against the dark: Antiblackness in education policy and discourse. Theory Into Practice, 55(1), 11–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2016.1116852.
Fletcher, E., & Cox, E. (2012). Exploring the meaning African American students ascribe to their participation in high school career academies and the challenges they experience. The High School Journal, 96(1), 4–19. https://doi.org/10.1353/hsj.2012.0017.
Fletcher, E., Warren, N., & Hernandez-Gantes, V. (2018). Preparing high school students for a changing world: College, career, and future ready learners. Career and Technical Education Research, 43(1), 77–97. https://doi.org/10.5328/cter43.1.77.
Fletcher, E., Warren, N., & Hernandez-Gantes, V. (2019). The high school academy as a laboratory of equity, inclusion, and safety. Computer Science Education, 29(4), 382–406. https://doi.org/10.1080/08993408.2019.1616457.
Frankenberg, E., & Siegel-Hawley, G. (2008). The forgotten choice? Rethinking magnet schools in a changing landscape. Los Angeles: The Civil Rights Project: UCLA.
Galindo, C., Sanders, M., & Abel, Y. (2017). Transforming educational experiences in low-income communities: A qualitative case study of social capital in a full-service community school. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1S), 140S–163S.
Green, T. (2017). School as community, community as school: Examining principal leadership for urban school reform and community development. Education and Urban Society, 50, 111–135. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124516683997.
Green, T., & Gooden, M. (2014). Transforming out-of-school challenges into opportunities: Community school reform in the urban Midwest. Urban Education, 49, 930–954.
Gross, J. M. S., Haines, S. J., Hill, C., Francis, G. L., Blue-Banning, M., & Turnball, A. P. (2015). Strong school–community partnerships in inclusive schools are “part of the fabric of the school…we count on them”. School Community Journal, 25(2), 9–34.
Hands, C. (2010). Why collaborate? The differing reasons for secondary school educators’ establishment of school-community partnerships. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 21(2), 189–207. https://doi.org/10.1080/09243450903553993.
Hauseman, D. C., Pollock, K., & Wang, F. (2017). Inconvenient, but essential: Impact and influence of school-community involvement on principals’ work and workload. School Community Journal, 27(1), 83–105.
Hernandez, V., & Fletcher, E. (2013). The need for integrated workforce development systems to broaden the participation of underrepresented students in STEM-related fields. In R. Palmer & L. Wood (Eds.), Community colleges and STEM: Examining underrepresented racial and ethnic (pp. 37–55). New York, NY: Routledge.
Hernandez-Gantes, V., Keighobadi, S., & Fletcher, E. (2018). Building community bonds, bridges, and linkages to promote the career readiness of high school students in the United States. Journal of Education and Work, 31(2), 190–203. https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2018.1434871.
Hipsky, S., Scigliano, D., & Parker, D. (2013). Schools leaders successfully partner with community organization: Providing nutrition so students focus on learning instead of hunger. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 16(2), 54–60. https://doi.org/10.1177/1555458913487035.
Inkpen, A. C., & Tsang, E. W. K. (2016). Reflections on the 2015 decade award: Social capital, networks, and knowledge transfer: An emerging stream of research. Academy of Management Review, 41(4), 573–588. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2016.0140.
Khalifa, M. (2012). A “re”-new-“ed” paradigm in successful urban school leadership: Principal as community leader. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48, 424–467.
Kirschenman, J., & Neckerman, K. (1991). We’d love to hire them but: The meaning of race for employers. In C. Jencks & P. Peterson (Eds.), The urban underclass (pp. 203–234). Washington, DC: Brookins.
Koedel, C., Betts, J., Rice, L., & Zau, C. (2009). The integrating and segregating effects of school choice. Peabody Journal of Integration, 84(2), 110–129. https://doi.org/10.1080/01619560902810096.
Lanford, M., & Maruco, T. (2019). When job training is not enough: The cultivation of social capital in career academies. American Educational Research Journal, 55(3), 617–648. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831217746107.
Lee, K., Hope, J., & Abdulghani, F. (2016). Planned approaches to business and school partnerships. Does it make a difference? The business perspective. Evaluation and Program Planning, 55, 35–45.
Lin, N. (2001). Social capital: A theory of social structure and action. Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Ling, C., & Dale, A. (2013). Agency and social capital: Characteristics and dynamics. Community Development Journal, 49(1), 4–20.
Lucas, S. E., & Valentine, J. W. (2002). Transformational leadership: Principals, leadership teams, and school culture. In Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA, April 1–5.
Milner, H. (2013). Analyzing poverty, learning, and teaching through a critical race lens. Review of Research in Education, 37(1), 1–53.
Moss, P., & Tilly, C. (1996). Soft skills and race: An investigation of black men’s employment problems. Work and Occupations, 23, 252–276.
National Career Academy Coalition. (2019). Career academies change lives every day. Retrieved April 2, 2020 from https://www.ncacinc.com/nsop/academies.
Office of Innovation and Improvements, U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Part D-magnet school assistance. Washington, DC.
Orr, M. (1999). Black social capital: The politics of school reform in Baltimore, 1986–1998. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
Polesel, J., Klatt, M., Blake, D., & Starr, Karen. (2017). Understanding the nature of school partnerships with business in delivery of vocational programmes in schools in Australia. Journal of Education and Work, 30(3), 283–298. https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2016.1165344.
Poppell, J., & Hague, S. (2001, April). Examining indicators to assess the overall effectiveness of magnet schools: A study of magnet schools in Jacksonville, Florida. In Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (pp. 10–14). Seattle, Washington.
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York, NY: Simone & Schuster.
Sanders, M. (2016). Leadership, partnerships, and organizational development: Exploring components of effectiveness in three full-service community schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 27(2), 157–177. https://doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2015.1030432.
Siegel-Hawley, G., & Frankenberg, E. (2012). Reviving magnet schools: Strengthening a successful choice option. Los Angeles, CA: Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles.
Stake, R. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York: Guilford.
Turnbull, V. G. (2015). The profitability for businesses in school-business partnerships (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations Publishing (10101169).
Wang, J., & Herman, J. (2017). Magnet schools: History, description, and effects. In R. Fox & N. Buchanan (Eds.), Handbook of school choice (pp. 158–179). New York, NY: Wiley.
Wang, J., Schweig, J., & Herman, J. (2017). Is there a magnet school effect? A multisite study of MSAP-funded magnet schools. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 22(2), 77–99. https://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2017.1292853.
Wertz, F. (2005). Phenomenological research methods for counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 167–177. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0126.96.36.199.
Willems, P., & Gonzalez-DeHass, A. (2012). School–community partnerships: Using authentic contexts to academically motivate students. School Community Journal, 22(2), 9–30.
Yin, R. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant # 1614707).
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Fletcher, E.C., Smith, C.A.S. & Hernandez-Gantes, V.M. IT Takes a Village: A Case Study of Internal and External Supports of an Urban High School Magnet Career Academy. Urban Rev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-020-00593-9
- Career academy
- Community engagement
- School leadership
- Social capital