Date of Award

Fall 1975

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dupuis, A. M.

Second Advisor

Buckholdt, David R.

Third Advisor

Ivanoff, John


In 1972, the Board of School Directors of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) approved and adopted a set of Goals for Milwaukee Public School Youth. The introduction to the listing of the goals stated that the school system should prepare boys and girls to become "effective world citizens. The goals are as follows: Facility in communication and other basic skills. Appreciation of cultural values and creative works. Capability of succeeding in the world of work. Skill in the wise consumption of goods and services . Attainment of self - esteem. Success in human relations and in service to society. These purposes, viewed as terminal educational outcomes for public school students, were stated by the administrative arm of the MPS structure. The principal purpose of this investigation was to determine the degree of importance attached to the system's goals by other members of the organization, specifically, parents, students, and teachers. Additional research purposes were to discover other operative goals and motives perceived by the three subgroups and to learn if selected demographic variables accounted for differences in perceptions. A survey was conducted by means of questionnaires mailed to a random sampling of secondary students and teachers, and to parents of secondary school students. Thirty percent of those receiving questionnaires returned them; a total of 189 questionnaires were returned . Statistically, the Likert Scale was applied to discover rankings of goals. General descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were computed where applicable. In analyzing other data, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Version 4.01, and subprogram CROSSTABS were used. Respondents' answers to the questionnaires revealed that MPS goals were generally considered to be important, although the subgroups differed in their evaluation of the three highest-ranking goals. Likert Scale rankings gave highest mean scores to "Attainment of self-esteem" for parents, to "Capability of succeeding in the world of work" for students, and to "Facility in communications and basic skills" for teachers. Using the same technique, all groups ranked "effective world citizens" fifth. Few respondents noted that this outcome incorporated the six subsidiary goals. In general, students found the goals to be less important than did parents and teachers. All groups agreed that the greatest motivation for student attendance in school was "Legal requirements." This attitude was not repeated when students spoke for themselves personally. Demographic factors which seemed to influence goals and motives included age, race, level of education, parents' level of education, parents' ages, and years of teaching experience . Briefly, older subjects were more concerned with the "basic skills" goal than were younger subjects , who favored the "world of work" objective. White respondents and those who had attained higher levels of education tended toward greater specificity in goal designations than did Blacks and respondents with high school educations and below. Students with older parents and with more highly educated parents also tended toward more finely delineated educational goals. Teachers having longer school experience tended to stress social and emotional concerns more often than did those with less experience. implications based on the findings of the study suggested greater participant involvement and improved communications in planning, evaluating, implementing, and assessing MPS goals. Clarification of perceived educational objectives was also noted as desirable. Following upon the above implications could be refined strategies reflected in school finances, curriculum planning and development, and support activities.



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