ERIC Number: ED463587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
What Do Parents Want from Schools? Evidence from the Internet. Occasional Paper.
Schneider, Mark; Buckley, Jack
One of the most contentious policy areas in the United States today is the expansion of school choice. Although many dimensions of parental choice behavior have been analyzed, perhaps the most enduring questions center on the aspects of schools parents prefer and how these preferences will affect the socioeconomic and racial composition of schools. Using Internet-based methodological tools, parental preferences (revealed through information-search patterns) were studied and compared to the standard findings in the literature, which are based largely on telephone interviews. Based on this evidence, it is suggested that unfettered choice may lead to undesirable outcomes in the distribution of students, and it may also lead to reduced pressure on schools to improve academic performance. Stratification may increase if parents with higher levels of education are more likely to exercise choice than less-educated parents and more likely to engage in search activity to gather information about their options. The task facing advocates of choice is to design a system that can produce a socially acceptable tradeoff between a more efficient school system and one that mixes together children of different races and classes. (Contains 40 references, 2 tables, and 3 figures.) (RT)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Internet, Parent Attitudes, Parent Background, Parents, School Choice
For full text: http://www.ncspe.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., Greensboro, NC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.