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

Cathy S. Jording

Committee Member 1

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 2

T. C. Chan

Committee Member 3

Bev Stratton

Abstract

The intent of this study was to determine the reasons parents choose private schools in selected geographical areas of Georgia.

The research design employed in this study was quantitative and qualitative. The study was descriptive. The quantitative portion of the study was accomplished through surveys administered to private school parents in three selected areas in Georgia. The qualitative part consisted of interviews of 18 private school parents and nine private school principals in the three selected areas of Georgia. The findings were derived from the quantitative and qualitative data. The computer software program QRS NUD'IST Version 5 (N5) was employed to assist the researcher with the determining major themes from the interview data. Analysis of the survey data was accomplished through the use of the SPSS software program.

Findings in the study revealed that the majority of private school parents and principals responded that academics was the main reason parents send their children to private schools in Georgia. Smaller environment and safety were major themes that evolved throughout the study.

Both private school parents and principals indicated that parents did have other choices in choosing private school. Those choices were other private schools, public school, and home schooling. Academics, instructional presentation, strict discipline, athletics, and the fact that a parent had attended the particular private school were also major criteria for parents choosing their particular private schools. A majority of parents revealed that friends had influenced their decision to attend a certain Georgia private school.

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