Responsiveness in American schools overseas: discrepancies between parental expectations and school performance

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of the study was to determine the educational priorities of parents with children enrolled in American Sponsored Overseas Schools in South America, and to compare those priorities with their perceptions of school performance. Responsiveness was defined as the relationship between priorities and perceived performance.

Parents of secondary students enrolled in member schools of the Association of American Schools in South America, Inc. were the population for the study. A purposive sample of four schools located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay were surveyed. A low response rate reflected the nature of the population. Characteristics of non-response in overseas settings are discussed. Results were biased in favor of the politically interested/active parents.

Frequencies and crosstabulations were used to describe responsiveness levels, relationships between responsiveness and demographic characteristics, levels of parent satisfaction, and relationships between satisfaction and respondent characteristics. The findings indicate that respondents were a demographically homogeneous group. Parents responding were satisfied with their schools and felt that the schools were responsive to their needs. No significant predictors of either satisfaction or responsiveness were found.