School Report Card

The Parent Perceptions of Overall School Experiences Scale


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A study explaining the development and testing of the Parent Perceptions of Overall School Experiences Scale (P-OSE), one of the few such tools validated in both English and Spanish, appears in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.


This measure may serve as a starting point for schools and districts that are beginning to address school–parent relationships. As indicated in the literature, parent perceptions of school likely influence their children’s perceptions of school (Eccles, 2006). Thus, parent perceptions may point to additional areas of support that could improve the overall school climate and, in turn,influence student achievement. In addition, the scale points toward areas where the school is supporting and engaging families in positive ways. Identifying these areas of strength will help schools leverage parent support for programs and services that are identified as useful or effective. Still, schools and districts should not stop their assessment strategy after gaining information about parents’ overall perceptions. This measure is intended to provide a high-level assessment of parent perceptions. Schools and districts should garner valuable information from this measure, but then probe deeper using additional, more targeted assessments that measure specific components of parent perceptions.

The language invariance identified in this study for the Spanish- and English-language versions of the scale is important to consider as well. Parent perceptions of school improvement (e.g., is improving or getting worse) may be telling, and differences among various parent sub-populations may be especially important for schools to capture. Historically, marginalized racial and ethnic or low-income parents are less likely to engage in their children’s education in the traditional ways in which American schools expect (Ward et al., 2012). The scale is an initial and cost-effective tool to capture perceptions from Latino/Latina parents who may differ from the overall demographic of school staff and administrators.

Source: Ball, A., Bates, S., Amorose, A., & Anderson-Butcher, D. (2019). The Parent Perceptions of Overall School Experiences Scale: Initial development and validation. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 37(3), 186-194.

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"A 10% increase in parental participation (a form of social capital) would increase academic achievement far more than a 10% increase in school spending."

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools

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