A profile in educational choice : the charter school experience

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A profile in educational choice : the charter school experience

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Title: A profile in educational choice : the charter school experience
Author: Heater, Barbara Lena
Abstract: Contemporary public education is viewed by many to be in turmoil, in part due to a changing population: increases in the number of students of poverty, handicapped individuals, teen parents, and students for whom English is not a first language. These and other issues have changed the face of our expectations for American education, and a "one size fits all" mentality will no longer suffice. The resulting school reform often appears in the guise of school choice. School choice can take many forms, including the voucher system, tuition tax credits, magnet schools, and charter schools, among others. This study examines the perceived differences, as viewed by parents, between charter schools and traditional public schools, and the ambient or intangible reasons that parents are making the choice for charter schools. A charter school on the Texas-Mexico border, which had been in existence for at least two years was selected for the study. Participants in the study were parents, all mothers, who completed a pre-survey of basic demographic information. Two extensive interviews were completed for each. Three focus groups, also consisting of charter school parents, were convened and interviewed in an effort to triangulate the data. Chapter Four of the study provides thick descriptions of the participants, while Chapter Five organizes the findings into common, emerging themes. Chapter Six provides the conclusions of the study which indicate that there are some commonalities and some differences perceived by parents between charter and public schools. The ambient or intangible factors involved in choice decision were not found to be any different than those found in other literature on school choice. Implications for the practitioner and future researchers are included in the final chapter.
Department: Educational Administration
Subject: School choice Charter schools
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2010-05-1062
Date: 2010-05

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