What Parents Want 1

What Parents Want: Education Preferences and Trade-Offs

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Released in August 2013. This report details the results of a national survey of K-12 parents concerning educational preferences and what trade-offs parents are willing to make for the benefit of their children’s education. Analysts and advocates interested in the “demand” side of school choice have long focused on parents’ educational preferences. But parents are too often viewed as a monolith of similar if not identical preferences, with researchers looking to determine what the “average” or “typical” parent seeks in a school—and how that parent makes decisions among types of schools. This groundbreaking study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, conducted for Fordham by Harris Interactive, takes a different approach: It attempts to “segment” U.S. parents into distinguishable groups, each with its own set of values, priorities, and preferences regarding education.

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