Teachers', parents', and students' perceptions of effective school characteristics of two Texas urban exemplary open-enrollment charter schools



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Texas A&M University


The primary purpose of this study was to examine how teachers, parents, and students viewed their charter school as effective when effectiveness was defined by the following 11 characteristics: (a) instructional leadership, (b) clear mission, (c) safe and orderly environment, (d) positive school climate, (e) high expectations, (f) frequent monitoring, (g) basic skills, (h) opportunities for learning, (i) parent and community involvement, (j) professional development and (k) teacher involvement. Two exemplary open-enrollment charter schools in Texas were used in this study. All 24 teacher, parent, and student participants completed a questionnaire that addressed characteristics analyzed for each group. The 72 participants in this quantitative study were randomly chosen to respond to items on the School Effectiveness Questionnaire developed by Baldwin, Freeman, Coney, Fading, and Thomas. Data from the completed questionnaires were reported using descriptive statistics and frequency data. Major research findings for the study were as follows: 1. There was agreement among teachers, parents, and students regarding 5 characteristics. These characteristics were: (a) safe and orderly environment, (b) positive school climate, (c) high student expectations, (d) frequent student assessment, and (e) monitoring of achievement and basic skills. 2. Teachers and parents agreed their school demonstrated effective instructional leadership, a clear and focused mission, and a maximized opportunity for learning. On the other hand, students were uncertain their school provided maximum opportunities for learning. 3. Only parents and students were in agreement concerning the parental involvement in their school. In contrast, teachers were uncertain their school provided parent and community involvement. 4. Teachers were also uncertain their school provided strong professional development and included them in the decision-making process for the school.