Date of Award
University or Center
Atlanta University (AU)
School of Education
As an interrelated resource teacher at Peterson Elementary School, the investigator observed that parents were not fully abreast of their rights under Public Law 94-142. The problem was to determine if there were differences within the group based on race, income level, educational status, number of children, and whether the subjects were original occupants in the area or had moved in the area within a one to four year span.
The purpose of this study was to investigate and to determine if there were differences in the parents' knowledge of the law, their rights to a due process hearing, and all available special services which were open to them. Research Method and Procedural Steps The procedural steps employed in this study were:
1. A questionaire was designed to analyze parental awareness pertaining to Public Law 94-142.
2. A total of fifty parents were selected as subjects who lived within the area of Peterson Elementary School. These parents were selected by the investigator due to previous and present contacts she has had with them over an eight year period of time.
3. A questionnaire was administered to each subject individually.
4. Individual school, home, and telephone conferences were also held with each subject.
5. The collected data was treated by a panel of experts who validated the questionnaire.
6. The findings were reported and appropriate implications and conclusions of the study were delineated.
The analysis and interpretation of the data revealed the following according to the purposes of rhe study.
1. Race and sex were not significant in the overall awareness of Public Law 94-142.
2. In the categories of living within the area originally, or living within the area over a period of 1 to· 4 years, showed no significant difference as to their awareness of Public Law 94-142.
3. Those subjects who earned between $10,000 to $14,000 and above annually were somewhat more abreast of their rights as compared to those subjects who earned below $5,000 to $8,000 annually.
4. The overall responses concerning the item which dealt with the academic achievement of their child in the resource room yielded a positive response from both the male and female subjects.
5. Age and marital status were not significant as to the subject's awareness of their parental rights under Public Law 94-142.
1. There was no significant difference in the female and male parents as to their overall knowledge of their rights under Public Law 94-142.
2. Socio-economic backgrounds of the parents classified contributed no significant difference. It was noted that the. parents who had incomes from $5,000 to $8,000 showed a difference as to their understanding not being as clear, against the small percentage of parents with incomes of $10,000 to $14,000.
3. Racial backgrounds of the parents demonstrated no significant difference.
4. Living in the surrounding area, or just moving into the area demonstrated no significant difference.
On the basis of the foregoing findings and conclusions, the following implications were drawn:
1. Parents, outside agencies, students, regular teachers, school administrators, and the community should engage in a program which will make everyone knowledgeable of his rights under the law. This may be carried out through group conferences, and workshops.
2. Research is needed within the areas of educational level, income, and the community, as to exposing parents to all facets of Public Law 94-142.
3. Educators should investigate and interpret the effect of ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic levels, and any other related factors which would help in dealing with more than one school area in making parents totally aware of Public Law 94-142.
4. The keystone to identification and interpretation of the law should rest with the teacher, the school administrator, other agencies in preparing parents, and making sure that they thoroughly and accurately understand.
5. A liberal preparation for all educators in all areas dealing with parental rights under the law will improve identification and aid in a better understanding of the process.
The summary, conclusions, and implications gave bases for the following recommendations:
1. Training programs, workshops, and conferences should be held to expose the parents to all phases of the law, preparation for mainstreaming, and the role they play in the implementation of the program being a success for their child.
2. More research should be done in the area of educational level of the parents. A comparison should be made using those parents with a high school education versus those with a college education, to see if there is a significant difference.
3. Study should be extended to include a larger population and more heterogeneous socio-economic school area.
4. Study should be extended to other demographic areas.
Smith-Chandler, Carmen Fernando Wilson, "An analysis of data concerning parental understanding of Public Law 94-142 using selected parents at Peterson Elementary School" (1979). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. 1854.