Evaluating evaluations: The case of parent involvement programs

Doreen J. Mattingly, Radmila Prislin, Thomas L. McKenzie, James L. Rodriguez, Brenda Kayzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


This article analyzes 41 studies that evaluated K-12 parent involvement programs in order to assess claims that such programs are an effective means of improving student learning. It examines the characteristics of the parent involvement programs, as well as the research design, data, and analytical techniques used in program evaluation. Our examination of evaluations found little empirical support for the widespread claim that parent involvement programs are an effective means of improving student achievement or changing parent, teacher, and student behavior. We do not conclude that programs are ineffective. Rather, serious design, methodological, and analytical flaws inherent in studies evaluating the effectiveness of parent involvement programs must be addressed before definite conclusions about program effectiveness can be reached. The findings of this study are particularly significant given the substantial federal support for parent involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-576
Number of pages28
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Parent involvement
  • Parent participation
  • Program evaluations
  • Research reports


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