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ERIC Number: ED550603
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 185
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-8118-2
An Examination of Parents' Perceptions of Harmony Schools
Duman, Gurol
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Houston, Clear Lake
Charter schools have grown rapidly in the last 20 years since the first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1991 and has become one of the most popular alternatives in public schools (Center for Education Reform, 2007). Parents may possess various reasons for choosing one charter school over another, or choosing them over traditional public schools. This study examined parents' perceptions on charter schools, in particular, Harmony Schools (HS). Parental perceptions were explored through three research questions: in general, what they value in schooling, factors that motivate them to choose HSs, and parental perceptions of HSs. In addition, it was examined whether there were any correlations between parental perception and ethnicity, income and educational background of parents. A mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) was employed to examine parents' perceptions of Harmony Schools. The parents from 13 Harmony campuses in Houston were asked to take an online questionnaire to gather quantitative data regarding their perception of Harmony Schools. To strengthen the study, three follow-up focus group interviews were conducted with 22 parents (seven to eight parents in each focus group). This study revealed that the parents were drawn to HS for multiple reasons. Some of them first became dissatisfied with other school choices and chose to exit the former school because of their negative experiences. Other parents, whose children had never attended a school before, chose HS because they thought their children would be better served in HS. Parents considered many school characteristics that lead them to exercise their alternative school choice options with HS for their children. They valued the fact that the HS was offering a strong academic program. They appreciated the dynamics of the school culture and climate that set high standards, embraced diversity and multi-cultures, and provided a college-readiness atmosphere. They perceived that the teachers truly cared about and loved their children, and that administrators were involved and committed. In addition, they thought the HS was a safe and secure place that focused on instruction in a small caring environment. Recommendations invite all of those with a stake in developing the public school system, to invest in exploring, benefiting, and sharing scientific research about parental perceptions on school choice. Moreover, a longitudinal study has been suggested to investigate why parents have these perceptions that are identified in this study. In addition, it is suggested that comparative studies among charter schools, public schools, and even other choices, may be investigated in the future. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas