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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Mark Krommendyk
Doctor of Education
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: The Association Between School Choice and School Climate: Comparing School Climate in Private Religious, Charter and Public Schools
Dr. Jianping Shen, Chair
Dr. Charles Warfield
Dr. Gary Miron
Date: Monday, March 19, 2007 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sangren Hall, Room 3514
The association between school climate and school choice was examined by conducting discriminant function analyses on data gathered from the 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey. This study asked the question: “Does school climate in private religious, charter, and public schools differ?” Teacher and principal responses to survey questions were grouped to measure six characteristics of school climate: (1) supportive principal leadership, (2) teacher collegiality, (3) teacher-principal relationships, (4) teacher satisfaction, (5) student behavior, and (6) teacher empowerment. The study found the school climate in private religious schools could be statistically distinguished from the climate in both charter and public schools. The climate in private religious schools is more open and healthy than in charter and public schools. The study also found that the school climate in charter schools could be statistically distinguished from the climate in public schools. The climate in charter schools is more open and healthy than in public schools. The findings of the study support school choice as an improvement in school policy. At the same time, the findings caution that policymakers must make sure all parents have the ability to choose wisely. The study suggests policymakers must be wary of the impact of choice on public schools. Finally, the study suggests future research into the variables that look at why the climate in private religious schools differs from the climate in charter schools.