Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Sara Efrat Efron

Second Advisor

Dr. Kamau Rashid


This research delves into experiences with reasoning and selected criteria for choosing the right school for their children. Beginning with a series of vignettes that assist with recognition of parental empowerment, this research archives acknowledgement of their own positionality when it comes to making life changing decisions. As selected parents of African American children grapple with the strategic balance and possibilities of educational outlets, family and finances, they offer ethnographic accounts of their successes and failures with school choice. Individual accounts of parental school choice decisions posing as data ascertained from interviews provided research that explored the critical frequencies and perceptions of many African American families that are deeply involved in their children’s educational welfare.

Through the skillful use of aesthetics, this dissertation, is intended to show how the study of sociological inquiries, also known as ethnomethodology, can create culturally receptive and comprehensive spaces for empathy of natural human behavior with critical race theory overtones. This type of qualitative inquiry presented is an exemplar of narrative methods that approached relevant evidence in a compelling way to frame research that brought facts and findings to bear on people’s sentiments and personal beliefs about diversity, fairness and equal education for all.