Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The voice of choice: Reasons urban African American parents exercise private school choice
by Carter, Julia M., Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 166; 3487090
Abstract (Summary)

Research has shown that the Black Flight in the United States from large public urban schools to private schools has been a nationwide concern that began in the 1990s and continues to increase currently. An example of Black Flight is Detroit Public Schools' loss of 10,000 annually to private urban schools and urban public charter schools. This mixed method study examined the reasons urban African American parents choose private urban Christian schools for their children. Urban African American private Christian school parents were surveyed for their school choice variables with a Likert survey and follow up personal in-depth interviews. The data was investigated using descriptive statistics, Spearman's rho, Friedman, posthoc Wilcoxon signed ranks, and chi-square analysis tests. The results of this study indicated that contrary to the historic and recent data, there may be significant shifts in the priorities and relationships of private Christian school choice variables for urban African American parents. The data indicated the most important variables to parents were discipline and safety, location, in addition to before and after school programs. The surveyed parents did not seek out their school of choice based on super majority, racial balance of the staff or administration. Church attendance had previously been a strong determinate in the literature, both historic and recent. However, the majority of the parents did not attend church on a regular basis and yet they chose a Christian school. Furthermore, the parents were seeking a school that taught morals more than a particular religious affiliation. Several lines of future investigation will be necessary to further clarify this new data: a larger quantitative research study of self-reported church attendance for replication and verification of these results, broad quantitative research across schools affiliated with a variety of faiths, and broad qualitative research of the distinction parents are making between their strong preference for the teaching of moral values and their noncommittal to Christian religion taught in the school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Welstead, Callie
Commitee: Lee, Tyjaun, Wang, Victor
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Religious education
Keywords: Black flight, Charter schools, Private schools, School choice, Urban schools
Publication Number: 3487090
ISBN: 978-1-267-05847-8
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