Parent Choice and Involvement on the Ground:
A Qualitative Study of Families at Two Hartford Magnet Schools
by Mira Debs, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, Yale University
sponsored by the Educational Studies Program at Trinity College
Thursday, Feb 6th, 12:15-1:15pm Common Hour event
Rittenberg Lounge, Mather Student Center, Trinity College
(light lunch provided for up to forty participants)
Mira Debs will present preliminary findings from her ongoing 18-month qualitative study of how parents choose, participate and think about community in two urban public magnet schools in Hartford, CT. Parent involvement has become an education buzzword, but mostly in the context of how parents support student achievement, rather than considering what parents gain from each other. Similarly, existing studies of families choosing and participating in schools have discovered inequalities in who participates in choice systems, but at times over-emphasized parents’ interest in status-reproduction while neglecting parents’ beliefs about civic values and community. Studying two public Montessori magnet schools, Mira’s research represents a diverse cross-section of urban and suburban parents in order to examine the on-the-ground impact of Sheff v O’Neill as well as broader questions of educational equity, school desegregation, and the role of parents in school choice and school change.