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1. Miamidian, Helen Marie. Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions.
Degree: PhD, 2010, Temple University
School quality and school choice are two hotly debated issues within current academic research, and the two topics are not wholly disconnected from one another. School quality literature includes debates over the most accurate definition, or definitions, of what constitutes school quality. Research addressing school choice often includes references to issues of school quality, albeit with different conclusions about the level of importance school quality plays in actual school choice decisions. In order to understand families' decisions about schools, one must recognize not only the ways in which perceptions of quality influence choices, but also that school quality and school choice are, at the same time, conceptually distinct topics. Therefore, the primary question guiding my research asks, is there a relationship between families perceptions of quality education and the school choices they ultimately make. More specifically, my research first explores how families determine what constitutes a quality school, and second, how that informs the schools they select for their children. I examine six distinct types of school choice options families may choose for their children: private, neighborhood public, magnet, charter, non-neighborhood public, or homeschooling. I investigate whether or not family assessments of quality vary along racial or socioeconomic lines and whether such variation explains some differences in families school choices by these sociodemographic characteristics. I explore families behavior during their search for their children school to determine if any racial or socioeconomic variation exists in how different families conduct this search. I also examine factors that may prevent some families from actualizing their ideals of school quality in their choices. In other words, are there obstacles to particular school choices for families from diverse social backgrounds? Data in this study comes from the Pennsylvania and Metropolitan Area Survey, collected with the Philadelphia Indicators project and Temple University Institute of Public Affairs. This survey includes households within five Pennsylvania counties; Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties as well as four counties in New Jersey: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties. This sample includes only households including at least one school aged child (enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade) proving a sample size of N = 589 households. My findings demonstrate that significant variation by race and class exist in families perceptions of school quality, in specific school characteristics they report represent the most important indicator of school quality, in the number of school choice options families consider during the process of school choice decision making, in specific factors families report as most important for school choice decisions, and finally in the actual school choices families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds make for their children education. Research about how…Advisors/Committee Members: Goyette, Kimberly A., Delaney, Kevin, Elesh, David, Jones, Brian J..
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APA (6th Edition):
Miamidian, H. M. (2010). Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions. (Doctoral Dissertation). Temple University. Retrieved from http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,116606
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Miamidian, Helen Marie. “Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions.” 2010. Doctoral Dissertation, Temple University. Accessed April 13, 2021. http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,116606.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Miamidian, Helen Marie. “Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions.” 2010. Web. 13 Apr 2021.
Miamidian HM. Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Temple University; 2010. [cited 2021 Apr 13]. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,116606.
Council of Science Editors:
Miamidian HM. Can Families Always Get What They Want? Families' Perceptions of School Quality and Their Effects on School Choice Decisions. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Temple University; 2010. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,116606