Dr. Dennis Shipp

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Title The perceived attitudes of registered voters of small Nebraska public school districts toward public schools
Author Shipp, Dennis Charles
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree EdD
Date 1996
Adviser Dlugosh, Larry
Pages 107
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Abstract In this study, the attitudes held by registered voters living in small Nebraska school districts were compared with the findings from the 26th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll Concerning the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Ten small school districts were randomly selected from size appropriate public schools listed in Membership Data 1994-1995 (Nebraska State Department of Education, 1995). A telephone survey, using questions from the 26th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, was conducted with registered voters from the selected school districts. The results of the study revealed 14 survey items in which there was a difference between the national sample and the small school sample. The differences were grouped into three general categories. (1) The first category related to state or national mandates, initiatives, and programs. Differences were found between the two samples on items concerning school choice, school improvement programs, charter schools, contracting of public schools by private companies, and violence in public education. The small school sample participants were more apt to reject the idea of mandates and federal initiatives than the Gallup survey participants. (2) The second category, which included personal/character items, revealed differences in the responses of the two samples on items such as character education. The small school sample participants were more likely to support issues concerning teaching about character education in the public schools than the Gallup survey participants. (3) The third category, where a difference was found, included the respondents' personal perceptions toward public schools and involvement of the community in public school activities. Respondents to the small school survey were more apt to support their local public schools by attending various school activities than were the Gallup survey participants. Although there were differences in the perceptions of the small school participants and national participants, none of the 14 items that met the criteria of the study showed significant differences between the responses of the small school sample by levels of age and by parent/non-parent status.
 
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