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Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993 to 2007
NCES 2010-004
April 2010

Parental Satisfaction and Involvement in Children's Schools from 1993 to 2007

Tables 8 and 9 present data on parents' satisfaction with and involvement in their children's schools in 1993 through 2007 across school type. The population used for these analyses is based on students in grades 3 through 12 because parents of 1st- and 2nd-grade students were not asked the school satisfaction and involvement questions in the 1993 NHES. Questions about school satisfaction were not asked at all in the 1996 NHES.

Parental satisfaction

Overall, the majority of students in every type of school had parents who reported being very satisfied with all four measures of schooling across all years (with one 1999 exception—48 percent of students in public assigned schools had parents who were very satisfied with their schools). In 1993, 1999, 2003, and 2007, a greater percentage of students attending chosen public schools and both types of private schools had parents who were very satisfied with their schools than did students attending assigned public schools (table 8 figure 9). Findings for parent satisfaction with teachers, academic standards, order and discipline, and staff interaction with parents showed the same patterns by school type as findings for parent satisfaction with schools.

Parental involvement

Parental involvement also varied by school type. A larger percentage of private school students had parents who were involved in school activities compared with students enrolled in public schools (assigned or chosen) (table 9). In 2007, a higher percentage of students in private schools (both religious and nonsectarian) compared with students in assigned or chosen public schools had parents who attended a general school meeting (97 and 98 percent vs. 88 and 87 percent, respectively), attended a school event (88 and 84 percent vs. 72 and 72 percent, respectively), and volunteered or served on a committee (69 and 62 percent vs. 37 and 42 percent, respectively) (table 9 and figure 10). Also in 2007, a greater percentage of students in chosen public schools had parents who went to a parent-teacher conference (77 percent) than did students in assigned public schools (72 percent).

Comparing 1993 to 2007, the percentage of students whose parents attended a general school meeting increased for students in all types of schools. Increases were also seen for public school students in assigned and chosen schools in the other types of activities, but no measurable differences were found for private school students. The percentage of students in assigned or chosen public schools whose parents volunteered or served on a school committee was higher in 2007 compared with 2003, and attendance at school events was higher, but there was no measurable trend over survey administrations during that time-period. No measurable differences were found between 2003 and 2007 for students in either type of private school.


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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education