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A descriptive research methodology was used for this study. A survey was administered to a selected sample from a specific population. The term ‘survey’ is commonly applied to a research methodology designed to collect data from a specific population, or a sample from that population, and typically utilizes a questionnaire or an interview as the survey instrument.
Surveys are used to obtain data from individuals about themselves, their households, or about larger social institutions (school boards). Sample surveys are an important tool for collecting and analyzing information from selected individuals. They are widely accepted as a key tool for conducting and applying basic social science research methodology (Rossi, Wright, and Anderson, 1983).
Such sample surveys are comprised of standardized methodologies designed to gather information by examining systematically identified population samples. Social scientists rarely draw conclusions without disaggregating the sample population into various sub-groups. For example, the Gallup polls typically issues disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, education and region of the country Rossi, Wright and Anderson, 1983).
According to Leary (1995), there are distinct advantages in using a questionnaire vs. an interview methodology: questionnaires are less expensive and easier to administer than personal interviews; they lend themselves to group administration; and, they allow confidentiality to be assured. Robson (1993) indicates that mailed surveys are extremely efficient at providing information in a relatively brief time period at low cost to the researcher.
For these reasons, the researcher chose a descriptive research methodology and designed a questionnaire survey instrument to assess the perceptions of selected school board members regarding the quality and condition, maintenance, and improvement and renovation of existing public school facilities throughout the United States.