ERIC Number: ED460428
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Voices of Power, Equity, and Justice in the Evaluation of Education Reform.
Waters, Gisele A.; Ares, Nancy
This paper reviews evaluations of social programs and major approaches to program evaluation. Its purpose is to examine the roles that philosophy, ideology, key audiences, preferred methods, and typical evaluation questions can play in the practices of contemporary evaluators. The report describes the Learning Connections Projects, a program that can provide a context for the philosophical framework of the pragmatist and developmental approaches to evaluation. Next, a broad discussion explores how evaluation approaches can serve particular sets of social and political values. The school-reform movement is summarized to show how it has done little to provide an accurate analysis of the production of inequality in the public schools or the larger social order. The paper then suggests how evaluators can earn a seat at the decision-making table of public-school reform by first facing their ideologies and then reflecting on the situational and generalized ethics that apply to any given research act. Lastly, consequences and benefits of using a critical normative framework are explored as a way to negotiate and to communicate the social and political meanings of evaluation questions and ideological and value orientations with high-level policy makers, program beneficiaries, potential clients, and reformers. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (27th, New Orleans, LA, November 4-6, 1998).