College of Education and Human Development

Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement

Minnesota Principals Survey (MnPS)

The goal of the Minnesota Principals Survey (MnPS), generously funded by the Minneapolis Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, is to elevate principal voice. All principals, assistant principals, and charter school directors in the state of Minnesota are invited to participate in the MnPS on a biannual basis. The inaugural MnPS was administered in November 2021 and resulted in the publication of numerous reports and policy briefs, accessible here. The second and most recent iteration of the survey was administered in November 2023; reports and key findings from the 2023 MnPS are described and linked below.

2023 Survey

These are from the most recent (second) iteration of the MnPS. Older reports stemming from the initial iteration in 2021 are available here.

Executive Summary

The executive summary covers the key findings and takeaways from the 2023 survey results, highlighting changes vs. the initial 2021 survey results. It is not intended to replace the full report.

Image of cover page of 2023 Principals Survey executive summary report.

Full report

The main report provides a full analysis of the findings of the second administration of the Minnesota Principals Survey, conducted in November 2023, and compares results to findings from the initial survey, conducted in November 2021.

Image of cover page of 2023 Principals Survey main report.

Frequently asked questions

    What is The Minnesota Principals Survey?

    It’s a comprehensive survey developed by and for school leaders and administered through the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota funded jointly by the Minneapolis Foundation and the Joyce Foundation. The express intent of the survey is to elevate the voices of Minnesota principals and school leaders in decision making that bears on PK-12 education in the state.

    What kinds of questions are on the survey?

    The survey includes questions about the responsibilities of principals, their work environments, their ability to do their jobs and what supports could enhance those abilities. The 2023 survey has been streamlined to reduce the time it takes to complete. General topics include preparation and development, leadership practices, school improvement, management and decision making, and culture and climate. This year’s survey includes a new section on recent policy changes and mental health.

    What kinds of questions are on the survey?

    The survey is intended for principals, assistant principals, charter school leaders, or anyone directly responsible for leading a public or charter school in Minnesota. The survey is being sent to potential respondents from a statewide list of school leaders published by MDE and supplemented by MASSP and MESPA member lists. If someone does not receive a survey link, they can request one here.

    How will my responses be protected?

    Data collected via the survey will be kept private by a small team of professional researchers at CAREI using state-of-the-art software designed to store data securely. No information will be shared that will make it possible to identify you, your school, or your district.

    How has and will the data be used?

    Data from the survey is compiled into a final report that summarizes key findings and reports on specific questions. Insights have and will continue to be shared via presentations with various stakeholders including MSBA, MASA, MESPA, MASSP, MDE, and policymakers. Short research-based recommendations were published in the Policy and Practice Briefs series.  NEW in 2023: Summary survey data will be made available for exploration via a Tableau data visualization dashboard.

    How long will it take to complete?

    This year’s survey has been streamlined to be easier and faster to complete. We estimate the survey will take most participants 25-30 minutes. 


    Direct questions to Katie Pekel, Project Lead, at

    Stay in the loop

    If you would like us to notify you via email when new reports and findings related to the Minnesota Principals Survey are released, provide your contact info here. We will not share your information with anyone.