Parent Survey

McCoach, D. Betsy, et al. (2010). Examining the unexpected: Outlier analyses of factors affecting student achievement. Journal of Advanced Academics 21(3):426–68.

Comments: Three separate surveys were constructed for parents, teachers, and administrators. The parent survey has 23 items; the teacher survey has 70 items; and the administrator survey has 80 items. Parental involvement and parental perceptions were key factors in explaining differences of over- and underachieving schools.

Sample: Detailed information about the samples is provided. Almost 1,300 completed surveys were returned. The responses were divided into positive outlier schools and negative outlier schools.

Reliability: The alpha coefficient (coefficient of internal consistency) is 0.94 (parent satisfaction with school; and 0.86 (parent communication with school).

Validity: Content validation was conducted through a panel of experts from the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Factor Analysis: An exploratory factor analysis using principal axis factoring with oblimin rotation was performed and a two-factor solution was accepted. The two subscales that comprise the parent survey are parent satisfaction with school (15 items) and parent communication with school (four items). The parent satisfaction with school subscale consists of the following items: 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23. The parent communication

with school subscale consists of the following items: 4, 8, 9, and 11.

Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics are provided as well as independent sample t tests. In addition, multilevel analyses were performed to calculate the proportion of variability that lay between and within schools on the two parents’ subscales.


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Keith, T. Z., et al. (1993). Does parental involvement affect eighth-grade student achievement? Structural analysis of national data. School Psychology Review 22: 474–96.

McDermott, P. C., and Rothenberg, J. J. (2001). New teachers communicating effectively with low-income, urban parents. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA.

Ramirez, F. (2003). Dismay and disappointment: Parental involvement of Latino immigrant parents. Urban Review 35:93–105.

Sheldon, S. B. (2003). Linking school-family-community partnerships in urban elementary schools to student achievement on state tests. Urban Review 35:149–65.

Parent Survey

1. Parents have the opportunity to be involved in making important decisions in this school.
2. I feel welcome in my child’s school.
3. The curriculum at my child’s school is geared toward preparation for the state test.
4. I have regular contact with my child’s teachers.
5. There are clear and focused goals for student learning at my child’s school.
6. I attend school-wide special events.
7. Students at this school feel welcome and valued regardless of their racial/ethnic background.
8. Teachers communicate with me frequently about my child’s progress in school.
9. School staff have invited me to school for meetings and/or events.
10. Parent input is valued by the school administration.
11. I am regularly informed of my child’s classroom progress.
12. My child is prepared for the next grade level by the end of the school year.
13. My child’s school provides a variety of ways for parents to become involved with the school.
14. I would recommend my child’s school to other parents.
15. My phone calls or e-mails are returned promptly by the staff at my child’s school.
16. I understand what is expected of my child at school.
17. Information about homework and class assignments is easy for parents to access.
18. The staff at my child’s school helps me to understand the results of state tests.
19. The principal at my child’s school is an effective leader.
20. I attend parent-teacher conferences.
21. Overall, I am satisfied with my child’s school.
22. My child is given challenging work in all classes.
23. Teachers and administrators understand the culture and values of the community.

Scoring: A five-point Likert-type scale ranges from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).