School choice: A case study analysis of an urban private non-sectarian school and state-funded vouchers
The purpose of this study was to examine Harambee Community School, a private, non-sectarian elementary school involved in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. The study sought: (1) to describe the historical roots of Harambee Community School; (2) to identify the founding identity, vision, and mission of Harambee Community School; and (3) to describe the impact of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program on the identity, vision, and mission of Harambee Community School.
The researcher gathered information via interviews, questionnaires, and analysis of documentary data. Data analysis revealed that Harambee Community School evolved from St. Elizabeth's Parish School which originated in 1901 in the City of Milwaukee.
Harambee's founding identity focused upon the values of Kwanzaa. In addition, the concepts of holistic student development, pride, self-motivation, educational excellence, and leadership were key.
Founding vision centered upon preparing inner city students for responsible positions in the work force. Allowing parents to be active partners in the educational and character formation of their children was also important.
Founding mission had two pervasive philosophical benchmarks: (1) that cultural identity and pride were important aspects of all programs, and (2) that basic questions of values, human dignity, and happiness were explored and interwoven through the entire curricula.
Conclusions were as follows: (1) no evidence was discovered to indicate a change in the identity, vision, and mission of Harambee Community School as a result of being involved with the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program; (2) the inclusion of school choice did have an impact upon Harambee. School choice caused an increase in budget, students, staff, curricular offerings, and a re-emphasis of Black consciousness; and (3) the inclusion of school choice uncovered the need for an improved communication procedure to convey Harambee's cultural beliefs to staff, students, and families.
0520: Education history
0325: African Americans
0617: Public administration