Children are parents’ pride, especially when children are doing well at school. Therefore, the ultimate function of schools is to make parents proud. Overall, parents seem to be quite satisfied with the school they send their kids (schools get a small plus)(1) . Once a school is selected for their child, which is mainly based on school test scores and school safety, parents’ judgment of school quality is primarily guided by adequate information they receive from the school about their children (2). Next in the parents’ view, school quality is determined by the degree to which parents are involved in the school and how well they communicate with teachers. This social emotional tie seems far more important than adequacy of school resources, or how effective the school is managed.
We know quite a lot about what makes a school stand out in the view of parents. Conclusion?: It is not just school average test scores. This is true for parents from different backgrounds and with children of all abilities (3). A nice illustration is found in a study on offering bilingual education in the school to raise academic level/ opportunity of English speaking students. “Nice…” parents seem to be thinking but first comes how well my children will learn from good instruction on standard curriculum subjects (quality of instruction gets a 52% and how safe a learning environment is for my kids comes second with 22%) .
“Nice…”one could rejoin, but what about the object of parents’ pride? It turns out that children’s’ self-reported happiness and satisfaction with their learning environment is unrelated to average test results in their school (4) : children are just as happy in schools where average test scores are low as in schools where average test scores are high. So, parents’ satisfaction with school quality is not strongly related with their children’s’ enjoyment of school. A noteworthy circumstance. The thing is that a child’s happiness and enjoyment with the school affects learning results – which makes the circle round again. Satisfaction/parent, quality/school, happiness/child and learning: a strong loop.
Lisa M. Dorner (2015) From global jobs to safe spaces: the diverse discourses that sell multilingual schooling in the USA, In: Current Issues in Language Planning, 16:1-2, 114-131,
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2014.947013