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Is school choice related to higher parental involvement? Kelly E. Sheehan, Christa L. Green, & Kathleen V. Hoover-Dempsey Vanderbilt University AERA 2007 Thank you! Thank you to everyone in the Family-School Partnership Lab for feedback and assistance with this project!

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is school choice related to higher parental involvement

Is school choice related to higher parental involvement?

Kelly E. Sheehan, Christa L. Green, & Kathleen V. Hoover-Dempsey

Vanderbilt University

AERA 2007

thank you
Thank you!
  • Thank you to everyone in the Family-School Partnership Lab for feedback and assistance with this project!
  • Portions of data in this project came from a project supported by OERI Grant #R305T010673.
purpose
Purpose

Analyze differences in the level of home-based and school-based parental involvement reported by parents of students in 2 types of choice schools (charter & public enhanced option) and 1 non-choice school (traditionally assigned public)

parental involvement
Parental Involvement

Parent involvement has been related to:

  • Positive achievement outcomes for minority student groups, particularly African American students (Hill, 2001)
  • Increased student confidence and self-efficacy (Hoagland & Leadbeater, 2004)
  • Decreased student disruptive behaviors in school (Hoagland & Leadbeater, 2004)
  • Decreased student aggression and other behaviors of concern (Hill, et al., 2004; McNeal, 1999)
school choice
School Choice
    • Parents who are satisfied with their child’s school are more likely than dissatisfied parents to become involved (Epstein, 1995)
  • School choice has been related to higher levels of parent satisfaction with schools, relative to parental satisfaction with zone-assigned schools (Schneider & Buckley, 2003)
  • Parents who choose a school that meets their own expectations report higher satisfaction and increased involvement compared with parents of students who are assigned to a school (Kleitz, Weiher, Tedin, & Matland, 2000)

While logical, this may not necessarily be the case.

challenges to parental involvement in choice schools
Challenges to Parental Involvement in Choice Schools
  • Obstacles to involving parents in choice schools include:
    • Inadequate transportation to the school (Shumow, Vandell, & Kang, 1996)
    • Inflexible work schedules (Epstein, 1995)

These are in addition to standard challenges to parental involvement in schools, such as time, energy, and invitations to involvement.

comparing choice non choice schools
Comparing Choice & Non-Choice Schools
  • 3 Types of schools participated in this research:
    • Charter
    • Public Enhanced Option
    • Traditional (zoned) Public Schools
school type charter school
School Type: Charter School
  • Focus on specific population: students at-risk for poor academic outcomes (Manno, Finn, & Vanourek 2000)
  • Parents and students generally are “very satisfied” with charter school education (Schneider & Buckley, 2003); 2/3 of parents nationwide reported that charter school was “better” than child’s previous school, often because of:
        • Smaller class and school sizes
        • More individualized teacher attention
    • 3/5 of parents of children attending charter schools reported that they had:
      • Higher teacher quality, increased parental involvement, better curriculum, extra help for students, higher academic standards, and more accessibility, openness, and discipline (Fusarelli, 2002)
school type public enhanced option
School Type: Public Enhanced Option
  • Public Enhanced Option schools are part of the public school system.
  • Two methods of enrollment:
    • Attendance in the school’s zone
    • Enrollment in a lottery for non-zoned spaces
  • Differences from most traditional public schools:
    • Smaller class sizes (e.g., 15 students),
    • Extended school year (e.g., 20 more days) (www.mnps.org/Page2697.aspx)
  • There is little research on parent involvement practices in public enhanced option schools as compared with traditional public schools.
school type traditional public
School Type: Traditional Public
  • Students are zoned based on residence; however, the school may not be near the residence
  • For additional information on this public school district please see:
  • http://www.mnps.org/
research questions
Research Questions
  • Do parents who have made a choice to send their child to an alternative school (charter or enhanced option) have higher levels of involvement than traditional public school parents, at home and school?
  • Do charter school parents have the highest involvement levels?
sources of data
Sources of Data
  • 5 studies, all set in a metropolitan area in middle Tennessee
  • All schools were in the same school district
  • All data were from self-report surveys
participants
Participants
  • 981 parents of K-4 students in 8 traditional public schools
  • 294 parents of K-4 students in 2 public enhanced option public schools
  • 35 parents of K-4 students in 1 charter school*

*Note: Differences in school samples were due to availability of schools. Only 1 charter school was operating in this district at the time of the study.

measure cont d
Measure (cont’d)
  • Parent involvement at home: frequency of parental involvement activities in the home across the previous school year
    • e.g., “I supervised my child’s homework”
    • Frequency scale ranging from 1 (never) to 6 (daily)
    •  = .62 to .97
  • Parent involvement at school: frequency of parental involvement activities at the school across the previous school year
    • e.g., “I help out at my child’s school”
    • Frequency scale ranging from 1 (never) to 6 (daily)
    •  = .71 to .91
  • (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 2005)
results
Results
  • Home-based Involvement:
    • Charter school parents had the highest levels (m= 5.31, sd= 1.03), followed by public school parents (m= 4.97, sd= 0.93), and parents whose children were enrolled in public enhanced option schools (m= 4.89, sd= 0.92 )
  • School-based Involvement:
    • Public enhanced option schools reported the highest level (m= 3.38, sd= 1.55), followed by public school parents (m= 3.34, sd= 1.54), with charter school parents reporting the lowest (m= 2.76, sd= 1.72)
results cont d
Results (cont’d)
  • Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to compare levels of self-reported parent involvement (home and school) across school types
    • A significant relationship was found for levels of home-based parental involvement and school type (F [2,1309]=3.39, p <.05)
    • No significant relationship across school type was found for school-based parental involvement
results home based involvement
Results: Home-Based Involvement

F=[2,1309]=3.39, p= .03

post hoc analysis of home based involvement
Post Hoc Analysis of Home-Based Involvement

A posthoc exploration of home-based involvement using Fisher’s LSD showed that charter schools were significantly different from both types of public schools; however public and public enhanced option school parents did not significantly differ from one another

summary
Summary
  • Parents in charter schools reported significantly more home-based parental involvement than parents in traditional & enhanced option public schools
  • Public school parents’ home-based involvement was also significantly different than charter school parents home-based involvement.
next steps
Next Steps
  • Investigate why school-based involvement did not differ significantly across school types
  • Examine factors that may have led to significant differences in home-based involvement level, e.g.,
    • Did teacher invitations to involvement differ across the three types of schools?
    • Did parent responses to invitations differ across the three types of schools?