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Title page for ETD etd-07122005-132741

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Boerema, Albert James
Author's Email Address alber.j.boerema@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07122005-132741
Title Examining differences among private schools in British Columbia
Degree PhD
Department Education & Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mark Berends Committee Chair
Kenneth Wong Committee Member
Paul Dokecki Committee Member
Thomas Smith Committee Member
  • mission/vision statements
  • achievement differences
  • private schools
Date of Defense 2005-06-30
Availability unrestricted
This study was an exploration of the differences that lie within the private school sector in British Columbia using school evaluation catalogues and student achievement data. Content analysis was used to analyze the school evaluation catalogues to determine the differences in school mission and organizational characteristics between the private school sub-sectors. Hierarchical linear modeling was using to analyze the student achievement data.

The analysis of school mission statements indicated that there were important differences between the major groups of private schools and between the schools within the private school sub-sectors and these differences were reflective of the distinctive ways the schools saw their task, the way in which the task was to be carried out, and those who were served by the school. There was also a strong emphasis on parent control and the schools having a partnership with parents in the education of children. The unique blend of goals and community distinctives in private schools allowed for a stronger linkage between what parents desire for their children and how private schools can meet that need, a linkage that goes beyond market choice and democratic localism to a commitment to a set of commonly held values. The analysis of the organizational characteristics, combined with the mission/vision analysis showed a degree of ‘bundling’ of characteristics. The quantitative analysis of the student achievement data showed that when controlling for language, parents level of educational attainment, and prior achievement, the private school sub-sectors had small but significant differences in average performance. The study has implications for school communities, leaders, teachers and policy makers.

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