Term of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Brenda Marina

Committee Member 1

Dr. William Amponsah

Committee Member 2

Dr. Olufunke Adefope


Public schools are experiencing major demographic shifts in the school-age population (Hardy, 2004; Hartman, 2002; Olson, 2005; Rodriguez, 2002; Zehr, 2000). As schools attempt to address the challenges that accompany increasing demographic changes in public schools, a key component of their efforts should include determining parental expectations and how those expectations differ and are influenced by demographics such as race and ethnicity, SES, and level of educational attainment of the parents. Elementary schools must respond to parental expectations in a manner that helps to establish a foundation for students to reach their academic potential, thus providing a quality of education that transcends demographic boundaries and closes the achievement gap between students.

This study explored parent expectations of elementary schools and sought to examine the similarities and differences in parent expectations based on the race and ethnicity of the parent, the socioeconomic status of the parent, and the level of educational attainment of the parent. Data was collected from parents who had children in grades 3, 4, or 5 in public elementary schools in a Southeast Georgia school district. This research was driven by the existence of an ever-changing demographic population, Epstein’s Model of Parent Involvement which supports strong partnership between the school and the parents, and the Vygotskyan perspective which supports the manifestation of parents’ aspirations for children as a result of their communication of expectations to the child. Descriptive statistics were generated for analysis along with frequency tables and a one-way ANOVA to determine if significant differences existed between participant responses within demographic groups.

The researcher used a quantitative research method with a researcher-created survey. Survey results determined that parent expectations of elementary schools were similar in most areas of School-Parent Relationships, Curriculum, Culture and Climate, Educational Level and Achievement (Growth in Learning), and Parent Involvement. Significant differences were found in the each demographic area which was targeted in the research.