Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Anthony Colella

Committee Member

Christopher Hynes

Committee Member

Linda Freda

Committee Member

Geri Sullivan-Keck


School improvement programs, Strategic planning, New York, Westchester public school district, Rockland public school district, Putnam public school district, Dutchess public school district, Nassau public school district, Suffolk public school district


Over the past two decades, strategic planning has emerged as a management tool to assist administrators in leading public school districts forward. If strategic planning is an important administrative tool in moving a school district toward its vision, how and in what form is it being utilized in suburban New York City school districts? The purpose of this study was to understand the utilization of strategic planning in suburban New York City school districts and to understand the constraints, training and technical needs regarding strategic planning. This study also discusses the relationship existing between strategic planning and the key district variables noted in the research questions. The research questions were to determine: 1. How is strategic planning being utilized in suburban New York public school districts in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau, and Suffolk counties? For districts that do not have a written strategic plan, how are components of strategic planning incorporated in the planning process? 2. What are the perceived constraints, training and technical needs of school districts in the area of strategic planning ? 3. What is the relationship between the degree of utilization of strategic planning and student performance on state English Language Arts assessments in Grades 4, 8, and 11? 4. What are the relationships between the degree of utilization of strategic planning and selected district variables of: percentage of students graduating with a New York State Regents diploma, cost-per-pupil, the student drop-out rate, student attendance, and percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch? The first two research questions were answered using descriptive statistics and linear regressions while questions three and four were answered by analysis of variance and Pearson correlations. The findings revealed that planning in these school districts encompassed a variety of forms and that strategic planning is still evolving as a planning tool for educators. Also, no assumptions can be made regarding the relationship between student achievement and strategic planning. Finally, if strategic planning is to emerge as a cultural component of school districts, the following areas should be addressed: training and technology needs, funding and staff requirements, and an understanding of the transformational nature of strategic planning.