The purpose of this study was to gather data from public school parents that would contribute to the understanding of parental involvement with school choice for their children and of parental involvement with educational organizations. We employed a case study approach as the methodological basis for eliciting 22 multi-racial parents perceptions’ about school climate and their child’s school choice. Our comprehensive in-depth semi-structured interviews, field notes, observations, and documents data collection process incorporated feedback from potential respondents from the outset of the design process to enhance data quality. Verbatim transcripts and documents were analyzed using a content and thematic analysis approach. Four over-arching themes were identified; (i) factors that parents value in schools, (ii) concerns about other school choices, (iii) the features and programs that appeal to parents, and (iv) parental perceptions of the chosen school. The findings of this study revealed that parents choose schools for their children for the following reasons. The children were better served, the programs and features offered by schools appealed to most participants, the schools had strong academic programs, a proper school climate and culture were present, the setting embraced diversity and multicultural atmospheres, a safe and secure place was present, and instruction was focused on a small and caring environment.


School Choice, Parental School Choice, Case Study, Public School

Author Bio(s)

John Duman hold his PhD in Educational Leadership from University of Houston, TX. Currently, he is research coordinator at Zenith Educational Learning. His research expertise is in parental involvement in public schools, social justice, curriculum development and evaluation, and learning and evaluation. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: gurolduman@gmail.com.

Hasan Aydin is an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at Florida Gulf COast University. His research focuses on multicultural education, diversity, curriculum evaluation, citizenship education and democracy. He is an author of several books and published over a hundred articles. He is currently a chief-editor of Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies (eJECS), and American Journal of Qualitative Research (AJQR). Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: aydinhytu@gmail.com.

Burhan Ozfidan received his BA with distinction in 2011 specializing in Teaching English Language and earned his Master’s Degree of Arts in Secondary Education and Teaching specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. He holds his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University, USA. His current research area is bilingual education programs, ESL, curriculum development, and intercultural education. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: b.ozfidan@tamu.edu.


We would like to thank the editor and all three reviewers for their insightful comments and feedback.

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