ERIC Number: ED294299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Analyzing the School Evaluation Use Process To Make Evaluation Worth the Effort.
Pechman, Ellen M.; King, Jean A.
This paper describes a structure for assessing the school evaluation use process developed from a longitudinal case study of districtwide and school level evaluation procedures in a large urban school district. Two fundamental questions guided the study: (1) Why isn't the evaluation process more useful to decision-makers and practitioners? and (2) If it is not useful, is it worth the effort? In the absence of pertinent literature, research focused on people on the "front lines"--the teachers, principals, and project implementers. Central office managers, and evaluators were consulted to determine possible communication gaps. Data were collected over a 6-year period through formal and informal observation of activities and interviews with key actors responsible for implementing evaluation unit functions. Results showed that program evaluation in schools involves implementing a complex, innovative concept that for most school staff (including managers) is unfamiliar, confusing, and even intimidating. This means evaluation use is not a simple matter of reviewing recommendations and following through on suggested changes. In reality, the evaluation use process challenges people to modify their routines and design new ways of accommodating to changing job demands. After discussing evaluation and innovation, the structure of school evaluation use is explained and applications are outlined. As with other innovations, integrating evaluation into complex school organizations is evolutionary and likely to cause disruption. Even so, evaluation is well worth the effort. Included are two appendices and a bibliography of 43 references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Eduational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).