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Participatory Evaluation

What is Participatory Evaluation?

Participatory evaluation empowers the people who are closest to the issue to take the lead in the evaluation -- gathering input from others in the community, figuring out what’s working and what’s not working, and making recommendations about what needs to change.

The Accountability, Research, and Equity Division believes our district processes and schools should be democratic spaces designed to serve students and families, and that Minneapolis Public Schools' students and parents have expertise that needs to be heard. We have worked in partnership with schools and the community to build two participatory evaluation programs:

  • Youth Participatory Evaluation
  • Parent Participatory Evaluation

Through cultural humility, change happens with the community, not to or for the community.

This work is only possible through intentional partnership and relationship-building. Leading departments include: Research, Evaluation, and Assessment (REA), Engagement & External Relations (CEER), and Extended Learning (Student Engagement). Staff experience, existing structures, and resources are leveraged to honor community expertise.

An update on both programs was shared with the MPS Board of Education in June 2020.

Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE)

YPE equips young people at every MPS middle school and high school with research and evaluation skills, and takes a democratic approach to legitimize and leverage the voices of young people in shaping their education. A Youth Voice Advisor and Evaluation Coach support youth throughout the evaluation process. Youth’s recommendations result in system-wide learning and contribute to school and District discussions and decisions.

The District’s agreement with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) included the establishment of student committees to make recommendations about district policies or practices. Each year, YPE teams conduct an evaluation on a topic related to school climate or student engagement.

For more information, visit the Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) webpage.