ERIC Number: EJ1019024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Formative Evaluation: Estimating Preliminary Outcomes and Testing Rival Explanations
Henry, Gary T.; Smith, Adrienne A.; Kershaw, David C.; Zulli, Rebecca A.
American Journal of Evaluation, v34 n4 p465-485 Dec 2013
Performance-based accountability along with budget tightening has increased pressure on publicly funded organizations to develop and deliver programs that produce meaningful social benefits. As a result, there is increasing need to undertake formative evaluations that estimate preliminary program outcomes and identify promising program components based on their effectiveness during implementation. By combining longitudinal administrative data, multiple comparison group designs, and a progressive series of analyses that test rival explanations, evaluators can strengthen causal arguments and provide actionable program information for key stakeholders to improve program outcomes. In this article, we illustrate the application of rigorous methods to estimate preliminary program effects and rule out alternative explanations for preliminary effects, including site selection bias, individual selection bias, and resentful demoralization through the evaluation of the Collaborative Project, a North Carolina educational improvement project that incorporated multiple components aimed at boosting student achievement.
Descriptors: Formative Evaluation, Program Evaluation, Program Effectiveness, Longitudinal Studies, Comparative Analysis, Evaluation Methods, Computation, Academic Achievement, Program Improvement, Educational Change, Rural Schools, Teacher Competencies, Teacher Recruitment, After School Programs, Achievement Gains, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Achievement, Expenditure per Student, Student Characteristics, Classroom Environment, Institutional Characteristics, Bias, Enrollment, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A