A study of the perceptions of the faculty and parents of special needs children in a private school with contracted managed instructional services

Angela Garner-Harris, Tennessee State University


The nation's public schools are confronted with serious, even perhaps, insurmountable problems. Ideas for overcoming the inadequacies and shortcomings of the public schools are myriad. One of the most widely heralded and debated perspectives calls for replacing the public school system with a market-based approach to education. Several models have been proposed, some already in operation on a limited scale. Public schools officials need to become aware of the ramifications of this educational alternative. The primary purpose of this study was to develop a profile of an existing contracted managed school for instructional services from the perceptions of the faculty and parents. The secondary purpose was the examination of the concerns that parents have about public schools. The difference between the responses given to selected questions were analyzed using the chi square on nine demographic characteristics. Data were gathered from two descriptive surveys sent to faculty and parents of special needs students, who are currently enrolled in a private school which provides contracted managed instructional services. The faculty instrument contained 30 items and the parent instrument contained some 14 items, both with selected questions to allow group comparisons. Frequencies and chi-square procedures were used to compare the mean differences significant at the.05 level using nine variables: length of time teaching, length of time teaching in a contracted managed school, age of the teachers, education of teachers, gender of teachers, gender of parents, education of parents, income of parents, and residential area of parents. Each of the specified items was compared with each of the nine variables. A statistical difference was indicated on nine items. One of the most valuable findings of this study was a profile of faculty and parents who are involved in contracted managed instruction. The data presented included the following demographic information: (1) More females than males responded to the surveys. (2) Most of the respondents in the sample were married. (3) Most of the respondents listed their occupation in the medical field. (4) The average family income was over $50,000. (5)~More of the respondents lived in suburban areas and urban areas than in small towns or rural areas. (6)~Most of the decisions to enroll in a contracted managed school were made by the parents. (7)~Most of the parents plan to re-enter their children in a traditional public or private school. (8)~Most of the families had other children in traditional public or private schools. (9)~Most of the children enrolled were middle school students, grades 7--8. (10)~The average length of time teaching was 2--5 years. (11)~The number of years teaching in a contracted managed school averaged 2--5 years. (12)~Most of the respondents taught in a public school setting.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Special education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Angela Garner-Harris, "A study of the perceptions of the faculty and parents of special needs children in a private school with contracted managed instructional services" (1995). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9608784.