The Prestige of the High School as Viewed by Parents

Moshe Tatar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Rather than being an inherent attribute of the school, prestige is conceived as attribute conferred upon the school by the public. The present research sought to explore the factors that contribute to the prestige of high schools, in the view ofparents. Data were obtained from 465 parents of 9th and 11th graders attending 18 state-secular junior and senior high schools. Educational attainment was found to be the prime correlate of school prestigefollowed by—in descending order—the qualiy of teachers, students, parents, school policies, climate, management, and physical facilities. Although factors intrinsic to education proper were found to be the prime source of attribution ofprestige to schools, certain parents subgroups were identifiedfor whom prestige was related primarily to extrinsic features. A ‘halo effect’ was indicated demonstrating the reliance of prestige attribution on stereotyped perception. The findings of this pilot study are discussed and suggestions for further research are outlined.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author is a lecturer of educational counseling at the School of Education and researcher at the NCJVV Research Institute for Innovation in Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. [1] The research was conducted under the auspices of the National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education, the School of Education of the Hebrew University ofJerusalem, and was funded by the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The author wishes to express his gratitude and appreciation to Professor Kalamn Benyamini for his help and advice in all stages of this study, and to two anonymous readers of the manuscript for their useful comments and suggestions. [2] There is a problem in attempting to classify the intrinsic and extrinsic factors: 'Students of the school' can be viewed as an intrinsic, qualitative resource of the school, or, like the "parent" factor, as extrinsic to the educational process. [3] A total of 341 mothers (73.3%) and 77 (16.6%) fathers were interviewed. In 42 cases, both mother and father were present (9.0%) and in 5 cases (1.1%) other adults (uncles, aunts, grandparents) were interviewed. [4] Other statistical measures, such as the significance of correlations or regression lines, were rejected: the former, because in a sample of this size (over 400 subjects) there is a high probability of obtaining significance even for low correlations; the latter, because the aim was not to obtain regression equations. A third possibility, weighted means of correlations of the different schools, yielded correlations similar to those presented here.


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