Term of Award

Spring 2002

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Lyle Smith

Committee Member 2

Catherine Wooddy

Committee Member 3

Cathy Jording

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of parents and administrators in selected magnet schools and charter schools in Georgia. The intent was to give administrators of schools in Georgia an understanding of which parents in Georgia are most apt to make a school choice. Additionally, the study was aimed at providing administrators with an understanding of the factors parents considered when selecting a school for their children and what sources of information the parents utilized to find information necessary to make a choice.

To collect data, a survey was distributed to parents and administrators in six magnet schools and two charter schools in Georgia. A total of 534 parents completed and returned the surveys. Eight administrators completed and returned the surveys. Both the parents' survey and the administrators' survey contained 20 factors parents and administrators were asked to rank in importance using a Likert scale. Each survey contained nine sources of information the parents and administrators ranked using a Likert scale. Each survey contained open ended questions for the parents and administrators to provide additional information. The parents' survey contained demographic questions pertaining to ethnicity, family income and educational level. Data were analyzed using frequencies, means, and standard deviations. A multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA was performed with the clusters of factors and sources of information. A univariate analysis of variance was performed with each dependent variable.

The findings showed that parents were most interested in factors such as strong academic emphasis, safety, the school's discipline policy, and the school's emphasis on values education. The study found that administrators had a good understanding of the factors parents were looking for in a school. Parents utilized personal contacts with the schools to gain information about the schools. The study also revealed that parents and administrators are utilizing the Internet as a source to gain information and to market the schools.

As administrators face the probability of having to market their schools in the future, the information provided in this study will be very pertinent to them.

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