NAIS Research: Why Parents Choose Independent Schools: A National, Quantitative Analysis


In 2018, NAIS conducted research on the Jobs to Be Done parents have when enrolling their children in independent schools. As a follow up to this study, NAIS launched a quantitative survey to determine the prevalence of these Jobs to Be Done at the national level. This report presents the results of the survey, as well as information on how the results vary by demographic characteristics of parents and students.

Executive Summary

When analyzing the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) nationally, Job 2 was most prevalent among respondents. Forty percent of respondents identified this JTBD for their recent school change. Just over 30% of respondents were in Job 1, with smaller numbers of respondents in Job 4 (19%) and Job 3 (10%).

The Jobs to Be Done are distributed fairly evenly when looking at the sex of the child. Parents of girls are slightly more likely to be in Job 2 than parents of boys, while parents of boys are slightly more likely to be in Job 1. The Jobs are also distributed fairly evenly when analyzed by race/ethnicity of respondents. Job 4 has a higher prevalence among people of color than white parents, most notably among Latinx parents.

While there are some differences, school level does not have a meaningful impact on the distribution of the JTBD. Parents of middle school students are less likely to be in Job 2 (32%) than lower and upper school parents.

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