Is school choice related to higher parental involvement
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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 l.jpg

Is school choice related to higher parental involvement?

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

Vanderbilt University

AERA 2007


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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.


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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)


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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)


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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.


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    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.


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    Comparing Choice & Non-Choice Schools

    • 3 Types of schools participated in this research:

      • Charter

      • Public Enhanced Option

      • Traditional (zoned) Public Schools


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    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)


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    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.


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    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/


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    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?


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    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


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    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.




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    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)


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    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)


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    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


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    Results: Home-Based Involvement

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


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    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


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    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.


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    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?