Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Blendinger, Jack.

Committee Member

Farmer, Angela.

Committee Member

Hailey, Leigh Ann.

Committee Member

Johnson, Susan.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


Low graduation rates in many Tennessee high schools present a significant problem. Many students are not prepared to graduate. Parent involvement advocates contend that the more involved parents are in their children’s education, from preschool through the secondary schooling levels, the better the probability their children will graduate from high school (Blendinger and Jones, 2003). The purpose of this investigation focusing on “best practices” literature in the area of parent involvement was to develop a strategic parent involvement model having potential for improving graduate rates among Tennessee’s high schools. The study explored the published works of Joyce Epstein, Jack Blendinger, and Linda T. Jones in the field of parental involvement for the purpose of developing a parent involvement model for implementation in Tennessee high schools confronted with low graduation rates. The model produced holds significant potential for increasing graduation rates. A qualitative research design, referred to as archival research, was used in this investigation. Data were collected for more than a 25-year period (1987-2015). Textual criticism provided an analytical method for determining practical applications regarding what educational researchers attempted to communicate in their published works. Blendinger and Adams (2015) developed a technique for data analysis involving published works that they called the majority text method. The technique employs close (critical) reading strategies for the purpose of examining similarities and differences occurring in the content provided in research reports, books, journal articles, and so forth produced by the same author or authors over a substantial period of time. Insight gained from examining the documents were transcribed in the form of notes. The notes were then carefully reviewed and analyzed. Reoccurring themes, patterns, and phrases that emerged were recorded. Themes and patterns were separated into categories to make connections between the archival data and the research question driving the study. Findings based on the published works of Epstein, Blendinger, and Jones led to the development of a strategic parental involvement model known as The Nifty Nine. The Nifty Nine consists of 9 parent involvement strategies designed to improve the partnership between home and high school.