Date Published: Feb 28, 2002
No Child Left Behind: The Vital Role of Rural Schools. Annual National Conference Proceedings of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES)
Miles-Bonart, S.

A study examined the influence of professional etiquette, procedural factors, demographic factors, and child eligibility code factors on parent satisfaction with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Surveys and interviews were conducted with 207 parents in the Southwest border region whose children had been evaluated for special education services and who had attended an IEP meeting. Results indicate that each of the four independent variables influenced satisfaction with IEP meetings. Direct positive relationships existed when professional etiquette and procedural factors were examined as sole indicators of satisfaction. Three features of parent and child demographics demonstrated inverse relationships to satisfaction. Those were family income, parent education, and male participant attending with spouse/partner. With regard to student eligibility codes, less satisfaction was reported for meetings held for children with physical or health impairments. When viewed as part of an interaction, all four independent variables revealed significance. Either in first-level or second-level interactions, demographic features, annual family income, and parent education showed interaction with etiquette and procedural factors. Ethnicity had no effect on satisfaction scores. The eligibility code of physical or health impairments continued to be significant when combined with other independent variables. Recommendations include training professionals and parents regarding special education and IEPs; simplifying educational jargon; following through with IEP provisions; having appropriate personnel present at IEP meetings; and ensuring the environment is conducive to decision making. (ERIC)