Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Recent charter school enrollment trends suggest that many parents are choosing to enroll students in charter schools instead of traditional public schools, even though data indicate public school achievement is equal to or above charter schools. Guided by Rogers and Maslow's humanistic theory, the purpose of the study was to examine reasons why parents exercised their right to educational choice and chose charter schools instead of traditional public schools for their children. The study focused on two charter schools, the Learning Academy and the School of Excellence (both pseudonyms), which are located in a large urban and suburban school district in Georgia. In this qualitative case study, data collection occurred through focus groups and individual interviews. The information was then coded, and themes were identified. This resulted in rich descriptions of the beliefs and perceptions of 13 classroom teachers, 2 administrators, and 21 parents from the 2 schools studied. Parents interviewed considered student achievement, school climate, and parent involvement opportunities when choosing the charter school. The analyzed data led me to develop a policy recommendation highlighting professional development for teachers and administrators as well as suggestions for increased parental involvement in public schools. This study has the potential to bring about positive social change by providing insights regarding why charter schools are becoming a better choice for parents through the perceptions of parents, teachers, and administrators. School leaders have the option to implement policy recommendations in a way that promotes student learning, positive school climate, and parental engagement, benefiting students within the district.