Parents' and principals' expectations of what elementary schools should provide for children

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to understand and compare parents' and principals' expectations of what elementary schools should provide for children, and to examine whether parents are satisfied with what is provided for children. The study was designed to give educational leaders information to meet parent expectations, and to give principals information to assist them when preparing school budgets and formulating school policies.Data were collected from a sample of six elementary schools in Dade County, and from the population of elementary school principals in Dade County. The schools were divided into three categories--small (less than 800 students), medium (student population of 800 up to 1199), and large (student population of 1,200 and above). From each of the categories, two elementary schools were randomly selected. In total, 929 parents of first grade children and 190 elementary school principals received surveys.Safety was a major issue for parents and principals. Both groups gave safety more number one rankings than any other item presented in the survey. Parents reported that the items they wanted most for their children were already being provided for at their school.Hispanics, Blacks, and Non-Hispanic Whites want to know that their children know at least one adult well enough to speak with regarding a personal problem. They want to know that the school is teaching the subjects needed for middle school and high school. These two items received the largest percentage of number one rankings behind safety.Parents gave significantly higher scores than principals on wanting children to know one adult well enough to confide in, on wanting schools to help children develop friends, on wanting children to have opportunities to get involved in activities, and on wanting to keep parents informed of their children's progress in school.Principals assigned significantly higher rankings than parents on knowing that the school is teaching the subjects needed as a foundation for middle school and high school, and on having parents feel welcome by teachers and administrators.


Education, Administration; Education, Elementary

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