Date of Award
EdD Doctor of Education
Ruben W. Espinosa, PhD; James L. Rodriguez, PhD, Reyes L. Quezada, PhD
academic achievement, charter homeschool, education, English language arts, mathematics, parents & parenting, public charter school, standardized test, students, teachers
A recent development in education is the public charter school as a homeschool model. In several states across the nation, a child may enroll in an independent study program of a public charter school and base his or her studies in the home. This model in the realm of education is called charter homeschool. The state of California has over 120 operating charter homeschools, also known as independent study programs or non-classroom based charter schools. The delivery of instruction from non-classroom based programs has begun to challenge traditional definitions of public schooling. The increased state accountability demands of student academic achievement, challenges the viability of sustaining these alternative schooling models. The purpose of this study was to investigate the academic achievement of students in a charter homeschool. This explanatory mixed methods study analyzed standardized test scores for students 2nd-11th grades over a two year academic term using SPSS. A survey methodology was employed to examine demographic trends, parent perceptions of academic achievement, reasons for choosing a charter home school as well as perceived effectiveness. A focus group interview was conducted with teachers, parents, and an administrator to determine the effectiveness of the charter homeschool as an alternative path of education for students. The following were the key questions guiding the study: How do students in a charter homeschool score on the California standardized tests? How does the average mean of test scores of the charter homeschool students compare to California state averages for public school students? What is the difference in test scores among groups of students who are homeschooled through a charter school (i.e. ethnic groups, grade level, gender, parent education level, parent economic status)? What are parent's, teacher's and an administrator's perceptions of student achievement in the charter homeschool? Data analysis and findings revealed students in the charter homeschool score the same as or better in English language arts when compared to students in California. Math scores for students in the charter homeschool tend to decline as students move up in grade level and enroll in advanced math courses when compared to students in California. The parent survey and focus interview responses confer charter homeschool students perform above standards. In addition, the survey and interview responses attest the California standardized test scores should not be used as a single method of validating student achievement in the charter homeschool. This study contributed to the limited literature available about charter schools as a homeschool model. In addition, the investigation of student achievement in this alternative schooling method was studied to enlighten policymakers and educators about the growing standardization and increased accountability held for such schools.
Dissertation: Open Access
Digital USD Citation
Leeds, Mary A. EdD, "Academic Achievement of Students in a Charter Homeschool" (2008). Dissertations. 793.