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Title:Citizen Satisfaction With Public Schools: A Study of Attitudinal Differences and Change
Author(s):Bell, Colleen S.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:Cross-sectional survey data form the basis for most of our information on public attitudes toward public schools; these data describe citizens' views of schools at one point in time. However, relationships between demographic characteristics subject to change over time (e.g. parental status) and citizens' attitudes toward schools suggest that individuals' satisfaction with schools may change over time.
This study focused on citizen attention to and attitudes toward public schools in a single district. Eleven aspects of school programs and personnel were assessed. Data were of two types--(1) questionnaire responses gathered by telephone interview from a random sample of 402 adults in one community and (2) open-ended responses to semi-structured interview questions gathered during follow-up interviews with a subsample of 20 of the original respondent pool. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted.
Levels of satisfaction with school programs and personnel were crosstabulated with four factors--parental status, educational attainment, satisfaction with own schooling, and home ownership. Because of a concern with change over time, parental status was treated as a six-category variable (young nonparents, preschool parents, public school parents, private school parents, postschool parents, older nonparents). The extent to which levels of attention and satisfaction were related was also examined.
On the basis of this study's findings, the best explanations of differences in satisfaction appear to be those which take into account the mediating role of each citizen's proximity to schools (as indicated by parental status). The effects of other factors on satisfaction (e.g., educational attainment) are contingent on citizen proximity.
It was proposed that a citizen's proximity to schools varies over time--more specifically, with maturation-related change. Given the relationship of proximity and satisfaction, changes in level of satisfaction could be expected to accompany changes in proximity. Citizens who described changes in their attitudes toward schools, however, tended to attribute change to environmental forces.
Issue Date:1986
Description:192 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8701432
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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