Latinx Parents' Perceptions of Traditional Public Schools and Charter School Choice
Szabo, Julia C.C.
Lopez Turley, Ruth
Master of Arts
This paper examines the experiences within and perceptions of traditional public schools that led Latinx parents to enroll their children in a charter school, Houston College Prep Charter (HCP Charter). Data include in-depth interviews with thirty-one families who have selected HCP Charter for their middle school aged children, participant observation at school events and parent association meetings, and school accountability data. Latinx parents view their selection of HCP Charter as a means to remove their children from the “risky” public-school environments available to them. This perception of risk is based on the experience of children and parents within public schools, as well as information gained from parents’ networks, media, and lived experiences. Decisions to enroll children in HCP Charter reflect the belief it is worth “trying out” charter schools, given the risk they associate with the traditional public-school options available to them.
school choice; urban education; Latinx parenting