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Parents of children who attend private schools are more satisfied with their schools than parents of children in public education settings, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics, while parents whose children attend the public school of their choice are more satisfied than those whose children attend an assigned public school.
"Parent and Family Involvement in Education, 2006-2007 School Year," said that 82 percent of parents whose children attended a private, nonreligious school and 81 percent whose children attended a private religious school described themselves as "very satisfied" with their schools, compared to 55 percent of parents whose children attend an assigned public school and 63 percent of those whose children attend a public school of their choice.
Released in August, the report is based on telephone interviews with parents conducted in the first half of 2007 on a wide range of topics: school satisfaction, parental involvement in schools, school-parent communication, satisfaction with teachers, discipline and homework levels. While the specific numbers varied, more private school parents than public school parents were very satisfied with teachers, academic standards, discipline, and school/parent interaction.
Parents in smaller schools, regardless of whether the school is public or private, are more satisfied than those whose children attend larger schools. The unhappiest parents are found in schools with more than 1,000 students.
Parental dissatisfaction grows with the age of the child. Sixty-nine percent of the parents of K-2 children were "very satisfied" with their school, regardless of private or public setting, but only 52 percent of high school parents said the same.
Parents of boys and girls reported nearly equal levels of satisfaction, but parents of black students were less likely to be very satisfied with schools than parents of white or Hispanic students.
Three-quarters or more of all parents interviewed said they had attended a school event, meeting or parent-teacher conference, but more private school parents reported serving on a school committee or participating in school fundraising. Parents of children in smaller schools or in elementary grades reported more participation than those in larger schools or higher grades.
The report is available online at: