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dc.contributor.authorSmith, Andrea Nichole
dc.description.abstractSince the conception of education in the United States, schools have been the battlegrounds for equal opportunities among African American students. In response to the underachievement of African Americans in education, a rise in market-based policies under the guise of school choice have emerged and serve as popular solution for improving the educational opportunities of African American students. As a result, researchers (Frankenberg, 2011; Orfield, 2005) note that failing public schools are the civil rights issue of our day. This qualitative case study examined the perceptions and motivation behind the choices of 12 African American parents who their children enrolled in Utopian Academy for the Arts charter school in Clayton County, Georgia. The purpose of this study was to examine charter school perspectives of twelve African American parents who have children enrolled in Utopian Academy for the Arts. Specifically, the questions that were addressed included: 1) How do African American parents who have decided to enroll their children in a charter school make decisions about schools for their children? a) What are African American parents’ perceptions of charter schools? and b) What are African American parents’ experiences of having children enrolled in Utopian Academy charter school? In order to answer the research questions for the study, an interpretive approach was used to examine and understand African American parent perceptions, experiences and decision-making concerning enrolling their children in Utopian Academy charter school. Findings from this study shed light on a specific set of African American parents’ perceptions of charter schools and placed value on the experiences of African American parents who enrolled their children in Utopian Academy for the Arts. Using a qualitative case study methodology, parental experiences were evaluated via a semi-structured interview instrument. Purposeful sampling of 12 African American parents was employed in order to align with the focus of the study. Their responses were evaluated using constructivist grounded theory methodology for sorting and categorizing data in order to identify emergent themes and patterns in the parents' reaction to the charter school experience. The implications of the findings in this study are critical because they demonstrate that African-American parents want high quality educational experiences for their children that center on a high level of hope for charter schools as an center for equity for their children; in particular, Utopian Academy for the Arts. The level of hope that was evident from parent narratives centered on non-quantitative measures such as cultural pride and caring environments that highlighted positive characteristics of schools that served African American students prior to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.
dc.rightsOn Campus Only Until 2017-12-01
dc.subjectAfrican Americans, education, common school, equity, equality, discrimination in education, capitalism, educational philosophy, oppression
dc.titleThe great black hope
dc.title.alternativea case study examining African American parent charter school perspectives at Utopian Academy for the Arts
dc.description.departmentLifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
dc.description.majorEducational Leadership
dc.description.advisorSheneka Williams
dc.description.committeeSheneka Williams
dc.description.committeeKathy Roulston
dc.description.committeeApril Peters-Hawkins

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