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ERIC Number: EJ784659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-1098-2140
The Fairy Godmother--and Her Warts: Making the Dream of Evidence-Based Policy Come True
Weiss, Carol H.; Murphy-Graham, Erin; Petrosino, Anthony; Gandhi, Allison G.
American Journal of Evaluation, v29 n1 p29-47 2008
Evaluators sometimes wish for a Fairy Godmother who would make decision makers pay attention to evaluation findings when choosing programs to implement. The U.S. Department of Education came close to creating such a Fairy Godmother when it required school districts to choose drug abuse prevention programs only if their effectiveness was supported by "scientific" evidence. The experience showed advantages of such a procedure (e.g., reduction in support for D.A.R.E., which evaluation had found wanting) but also shortcomings (limited and in some cases questionable evaluation evidence in support of other programs). Federal procedures for identifying successful programs appeared biased. In addition, the Fairy Godmother discounted the professional judgment of local educators and did little to improve the fit of programs to local conditions. Nevertheless, giving evaluation more clout is a worthwhile way to increase the rationality of decision making. The authors recommend research on procedures used by other agencies to achieve similar aims. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A