Parents and Educational Reform.Report as inadecuate

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This paper discusses the findings of a United Kingdom study that examined the impact of the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA) on a group of parents whose children would be most affected by the changes. Between the fall of 1989 and the summer of 1992, five rounds of interviews were conducted with the same sample of 138 parents from 11 different primary schools in a local education agency (LEA) in southwestern England. At the beginning of the study, over 80 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their children's schools and felt that teachers were doing a good job. They also did not see themselves as consumers with regard to their children's education. Although they became more familiar with the concept over time, they did not enthusiastically embrace the role. When choosing schools, they were more concerned with the schools' social attributes than with its academic results. Initially, parents felt that standardized assessment would give them more information about their children's progress even though very few understood how it would be carried out. However, by 1992, many parents said that the process was too time-consuming and disruptive to classroom activities. In conclusion, parents' attitudes concerning their children's education have not been dramatically changed by the implementation of the ERA, nor did they wholeheartedly welcome the new legislation. (LMI)

Descriptors: British National Curriculum, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, National Competency Tests, Parent Attitudes, Parent Influence, School Choice, School Restructuring, Standardized Tests

Author: Wikeley, Felicity; Hughes, Martin


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