Low-income parents value excellent schools, yet often enroll their children in low-performing schools. The literature is inconclusive when examining how low-income families go through school choice decisions. It is important to understand the school decision-making process among different racial groups because choosing a good school improves later academic outcomes. Choosing a good elementary school is especially important because this is a critical period in a child's development and can affect performance in subsequent educational institutions. I am interested in understanding how race/ethnicity shapes how low-income parents make decisions about schools. Using interview data from an extensive qualitative study, I examine differences and similarities among white, Latino, and Polynesian parents' values of school quality and how they use those values to make school decisions for their children. By keeping social class constant, I delve into racial differences not previously discussed in the literature. I find racial distinctions among values and priorities in school decision-making. Ignoring these differences will create obstacles for policymakers and school administrators attempting to make a quality education available to children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Barriga, Maria Daniela, "Does Race Matter? School Decision Making Among White, Latino, and Polynesian Families" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 6833.
school choice, school decision-making, race, education, socioeconomic status