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ERIC Number: EJ791723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Using Evaluation to Improve Program Quality Based on the BELL Model
Phalen, Earl Martin; Cooper, Tiffany M.
New Directions for Youth Development, n114 p99-107 Sum 2007
Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) is a national not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase the educational achievements, self-esteem, and life opportunities of elementary school children living in low-income urban communities. BELL has been engaged in formal evaluation, internally and externally, for more than five years and has built internal evaluation capacity by investing in a specialized full-time evaluation team. As part of a continuous program improvement model of evaluation, BELL uses the data to refine program implementation and replicate successful elements of the services and operations. In this chapter, the authors highlight best practices from the field by outlining BELL's approach to using evaluation data for continuous program improvement. Key strategies include (1) carefully identifying intended users of the evaluation throughout the organization and among its external stakeholders, then working closely with intended users throughout the evaluation process, ensuring full engagement at every step of the process; (2) reporting findings in a readable, user-friendly format and timing the reporting so that it is aligned with programmatic decision making and planning cycles; and (3) making and supporting explicit recommendations for the next program cycle, where intended users have agreed to recommendations and ownership is assigned. BELL's successful use of data for improvement is evidenced by the consistently strong outcomes for the students it serves as well as increased efficiency and satisfaction related to service delivery that has supported the replication of BELL's programs nationally. (Contains 5 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Sequential Tests of Educational Progress