The North Carolina Charter School Choice: Selection Factors and Parental Decision Making

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Title: The North Carolina Charter School Choice: Selection Factors and Parental Decision Making
Author: Fedewa, Michael Joseph
Advisors: Dr. Robert Serow, Committee Chair
Dr. Michael Ward, Committee Member
Dr. Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Dr. Charles Coe, Committee Member
Abstract: The study discussed in this dissertation identified and examined the factors that influence a parent's decision to choose a North Carolina charter school for their children. The study was conducted at 13 North Carolina Charter schools. Questionnaires were distributed to 2,325 parents, and 903 were completed. The questionnaire contained 14 questions that examined 16 factors that might influence parental decision-making. Frequency distributions were tabulated for each of the fourteen survey questions. A principal component and a varimax analysis was conducted. The factors were grouped into three categories: (1) administration, (2) academic/instructional, and (3)student-centered. Folowing this procedure, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was applied to the data. This tested the three categories against the independent variables of race, parental income, and parent education level. A post hoc test (Tukey's Studentized Range, HSD) was applied when appropriate. The category administration accounted for the greatest variance in the study. Factors in this category included sports program, extracurricular activities, technology program, facilities, transportation, and food service. The category that accounted for the next largest portion of the variance in the study was academic/instructional factors. These factors included curriculum, people running the school, opportunities for parents to participate, the school's expectation of parents, and academic standards. The category that accounted for the third largest protion of the variance in the model was student-centered factors. These factors included school size, class size, and individual attention provided by teachers. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) tested the three categories against independent variables of race, parental income level, and education levels of parents. Post hoc testing was conducted when there was a significant main effect. This process led to the conclusion that minority parents place more value on administrative selection factors than majority parents. Futhermore, minority parents tend to place more value on academic/instructional selection factors than majority parents. Finally, parents that had professional or post graduate levels of education value administrative selection factors more than parents with lower levels of education.
Date: 2005-01-27
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3599


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