Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Administration

First Advisor

Roger DeMont, Ed.D.


This research studied perceptions of public school superintendents in Michigan regarding charter schools. Superintendents in Genessee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties comprising 111 school districts, completed a two-part survey about charter schools that was developed by Ogden (1995) and modified for the current study. The survey consisted of 5 sections that measured perceptions in the following areas of charter schools: personal reactions to charter schools, intentions of charter schools, responsiveness of charter schools, effects of charter schools on public education, and funding issues involving charter schools and a short demographic survey. Superintendents were provided the opportunity to comment in three areas: accountability of charter schools, protections for students and parents in charter schools, and general observations. The largest group of superintendents agreed that charter schools were part of the future of public education, but were very skeptical about the ability of charter schools to provide better educational outcomes for students. They also agreed that the intent of charter schools was to increase student success, but not in the vocational area. Superintendents were quite negative regarding the idea that charter schools were a response to the business community's demand for change in education. Finally, superintendents were very concerned that charter schools were impacting negatively on public school funding. Their negativity in this area was supported by their voluntary responses in the comments section of the survey. Significant findings were indicated on several items in sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the survey when compared to Ogden's study. Mean scores on two sections of the survey, responsiveness of charter schools and effects of charter schools on public education were significantly below the mean, indicating that superintendents generally disagreed with the statements in these sections. In the sections on personal reactions to charter schools and funding issues involving charter schools, were significantly above the mean, indicating the superintendents were in agreement in regards to these areas of charter schools. The superintendents' mean scores on the fifth subscale, intentions of charter schools, did not differ from the neutral point.