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Parent Participatory Evaluation
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Parent Participatory Evaluation (PPE)

Parent Participatory Evaluation (PPE)

Program Overview

Minneapolis Public Schools promises an inspirational educational experience in a safe, welcoming environment for all diverse learners to acquire the tools and skills necessary to confidently engage in the global community. To honor this vision, the District has utilized participatory evaluation, which empowers the people who are closest to the issue to take the lead in the evaluation. MPS has supported a Youth Participatory Evaluation program (YPE) since 2015, and launched the PPE program in 2018. By partnering with students and parents, MPS engages key stakeholders to identify opportunities for improvement and partner on innovative solutions that best reflect the priorities of our community. 

Click these links to view the Superintendent's Message in Hmong, Somali, or Spanish.


The 51 participating Parent Evaluators represent five culturally-specific groups: 9 African American, 9 American Indian, 9 Hispanic/Latino, 10 Hmong, and 14 Somali parents. Their children attend 33 different MPS schools across all three zones. Many parent participants have graduated from the Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities (CPEO) program, serve on a Parent Advisory Council, and/or were seeking additional opportunities to advocate for their community of MPS families and children.


Two MPS Divisions — Accountability, Research & Equity and Engagement & External Relations — partnered to support parents as they designed a culturally-relevant data collection process to engage parents in their communities and analyzed the data they collected. Parent Evaluators received training on three data collection methods—surveys, focus groups, and participatory methods (such as sticker voting or a graffiti wall). All Parent Evaluators were tasked with using their data collection design to understand MPS families' perspectives on the question, "How can a school value and respect your child for who they are?" This question was identified by MPS leadership to support the District as it develops plans to achieve two of its strategic priorities: Social Emotional Learning and Equity.

Findings & Presentations

Fall 2018: Click here to view the Executive Summary of the Fall Session.

Spring 2019: After presenting their Fall projects to District leadership in December 2018, Parent Evaluators demanded the District take action in response to their research and recommendations. To facilitate action planning and ensure accountability, staff aligned the Parent Evaluators’ findings and recommendations to the MPS Equity Framework and organizational chart, and asked District staff to share a response with parents. 

Click on these links to learn more in EnglishHmong, Somali, or Spanish, then view the video of parent presentations below!

These memos, which captured the status in Spring 2019, can be found below:

  1. Parents feel the MPS academic experience does not reflect and value the languages, cultures, and histories of MPS students.
  2. Parents expect staff to create safe learning environments by addressing issues of bullying and student conflict.
  3. Parents need better communication about schools' expectations for behavior, as well as equitable treatment in response to behavior.
  4. Parents of students in Special Education programming want to better understand Special Education services and the progress their child is making.
  5. Parents want to be partners in their child’s education, but need schoolwide structures to support them in this role.
  6. Parents seek more positive communication from the District and their child’s school.
  7. Parents want to be able to communicate with school staff, but often do not find multilingual staff or interpreters at MPS schools.
  8. Parents find it essential that schools make their cultures visible by creating and displaying culturally-specific works and languages, and acknowledging important cultural holidays.
  9. MPS must prioritize hiring staff who represent the students who attend schools in the District.
  10. Parents want MPS staff to know more about their students’ cultural histories, values, and practices.
  11. It is important to many parents that MPS provide transportation to all students.


Contact the PPE leadership team for more information:

Amanda Dionne, Engagement, Education, and Outreach Specialist

Maren Henderson, Evaluation Specialist