Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Moses C. Norman

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. William Shepherd


The purpose of this research study was to capture, document and examine parents’ perceptions regarding their descriptions of the statements, “best education possible” and “school choice” in regards to the traditional and the nontraditional models for public schooling. Additionally, for this research study, traditional public schools are defined as the regular public school that serves grades P-12 with no restrictions for parents’ choice in enrollment of their child/children. Nontraditional public schools are defined as any school, public and/or private, that functions outside the boundaries of the traditional public school systems’ supervision. This body of work reflects the perspectives of 30 parents who provided their perceptions toward their personal experiences as they negotiated specific outcomes for their child’s/children’s educational achievements. By providing substantive information in the form of a satisfaction survey and personal interviews, their voices are now captured within a body of work that gives meaning to their experiences as they have described them in this research study.

Through the research process, this researcher brought forward a wealth of qualitative data that were supported by a limited level of quantitative data. The findings revealed that an overwhelming majority of the parents who were surveyed where satisfied with their educational outcomes. The parents who participated in this research study provided the answers for why, and/or how these perceptions were formed, materialized, achieved, and/or sustained. As a result of the findings from this research study, a grounded theory was formed. The grounded theory reads as follows:

Parents who have a minimum of a high school diploma, and/or greater and who are single and/or married with an income no less than $31,000 can achieve a satisfactory outcome as well as the best education possible for their child/children in the traditional and/or nontraditional model of schooling, where he/she is actively engaged in his/her child/children educational matriculation.

Because this study was overwhelmingly represented by African-American adults, a similar study should be conducted with primarily European-American adults, and/or other racial groups that may include Asian-Americans and/or Latino-American adults. Race was cited as a factor within the review of related literature with regards to educational outcomes as well as the disparaging gap for educational advancement found among the racial groups. As a result, given all other factors are the same, the grounded theory produced from this research study could be further validated across racial lines.