In the mixed effects regression for all 10 countries in the research I mentioned previously on this blog http://stevepowell99.posterous.com/which-parents-are-satisfied-with-their-childs, while school mean of “parents believing their representatives are effective” was significantly positively related to their overall satisfaction with education, this effect was dwarfed by the contribution of this variable at individual level, even when allowing for a host of other dependent variables, from wealth to child’s educational performance etc.Is this also the case for B&H? Yes it is. The model explains overall parental satisfaction with education pretty well.
|Prediction of overall parental satisfaction with education|
|total school-level variance||32.50%|
|proportion of school-level variance explained||46.92%|
|proportion of individual variance explained||32.59%|
And the coefficients for the dependent variables are similar to the all-countries model, although the contribution of individual-level belief in the effectiveness of representatives is not quite as massive.
|school mean: Household index: number of items owned, from list of key items such as washing machine||0.11||n.s.|
|school mean: Roma or not||1.17||n.s.|
|principals’ opinion: ensuring child is happy in school is the role of parents rather than school – mean||-0.17||n.s.|
|principals: invitations to participate – mean||0.38||n.s.|
|school mean: Child school achievement||-1.49||n.s.|
|school mean: Child likes school||0.89||n.s.|
|school mean: ensuring child is happy in school is the role of parents rather than school – mean||-3.03||0.01|
|school mean: family sees their parent representative as effective – mean||1.79||0.1|
|school mean: family feels capable to participate – mean||0.78||n.s.|
|school mean: seeing different forms of participation as good – mean||-0.54||n.s.|
|school mean: family feels duty to participate – mean||2.16||0.05|
|school mean: accepting invitations to participate – mean||-0.79||n.s.|
|Child school achievement||6.95||0.00001|
|Child likes school||1.67||0.1|
|Household index: number of items owned, from list of key items such as washing machine||3.16||0.01|
|ensuring child is happy in school is the role of parents rather than school – mean||2.52||0.05|
|family sees their parent representative as effective – mean||6.94||0.00001|
|active participation – office as representative or trying to influence things||-2.04||0.05|
|family feels capable to participate – mean||2.42||0.05|
|seeing different forms of participation as good – mean||1.94||0.1|
|family feels duty to participate – mean||-0.09||n.s.|
|accepting invitations to participate – mean||3.05||0.01|
This could be interpreted as follows: those individual parents who have faith in their representatives are those who use their relationships with those representatives for the benefit of their children’s education, whether to get information, communicate with the school, influence decisions and so on, which leads them to being substantially more satisfied.
This suggests that parental participation does have a really substantial impact on satisfaction with education, but not necessarily on the level of individual parents’ interaction with the school directly (which actually has a significant negative effect in these models). Rather, good schools are those which have effective parent representatives; but sometimes those representatives are effective for some but not all of the parents. So it might be possible to substantially improve parental satisfaction with education by helping to ensure that all parents are in a position to make use of their representatives; but it might equally be that these “special relationships” between representatives and some parents work by giving preferential treatment to some but not to all, and so inherently are not capable of being extended to all the parents in a class or school.