Posts by Kirk Vandersall

Understanding implementation is critical to both program improvement and program evaluation. But measuring implementation is typically undervalued and often overlooked. This post is one of three in a series that focuses on measuring implementation when evaluating educational programs.

ImplementationSummary

“Fidelity of implementation” ranks next to “scientifically based research” on our list of terms thrown about casually, imprecisely, and often for no other reason than to establish that one is serious about measurement overall. Sometimes there isn’t even a specified program model when the phrase pops up, rendering fidelity impossible. Other times we think all stakeholders are on the same page and so don’t bother to measure implementation at all.

That should change. Here’s why. (more…)

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Photo credit: Gillian Laub
Photo credit: Gillian Laub

U.S. school systems are crafting new approaches to desegregation in response to increasing evidence of growing racial isolation and strong evidence of the value of integration. Assuring the success of these initiatives, including creating and sustaining community support, requires clear thinking about measurement and evaluation. And while translating the rich body of integration-related social science research to actionable evaluation can be daunting, avoiding simple “box score” approaches to integration measures can help districts achieve deep, sustainable reform. We, therefore, propose a framework for evaluating broad-scale desegregation initiatives that considers:

  • Integration Policy Implementation: the barriers and facilitators of policy adoption
  • Integration Policy Outputs: the immediate, multi-layered outputs of policy implementation (the “box score” done better)
  • Integration Policy Outcomes: student achievement, critical thinking, school connectedness, school climate, and community support

(more…)

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Operation Patriotic STEAM, Ft. Belvoir Elementary School
Family STEM Day at Ft. Belvoir Elementary School

The Department of Defense recently announced the 2016 round of Grants to Military-Connected Local Educational Agencies for Academic and Support Programs (MCASP), designed to support military-connected schools. These have been important programs for schools that serve military families and students, and our evaluations of MCASP programs have shown them to be effective. If your school or district serves military connected families, you should review the application and consider applying. (more…)

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Data mapping is about more than key points; it’s about the many sources of data that can help predict future outcomes. For a project in Clark County Public Schools, we sought a way to show how various data sources across the district could be useful in informing progress toward their strategic objective of producing graduates who are “Ready by Exit.” That meant pulling together data about program participation, special services provided during and after school, as well as community input and educator professional learning. In short, it meant we needed to create a shorthand way to map those things that informed their strategic plan. We thought it was a useful exercise, that it was worth sharing, and that it might form the basis for discussion within other organizations. We’d love to hear your thoughts! (Click the picture to view it full size)
Arroyo Research Services District Data Mapping

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Tom photo - finalOn this day of his retirement, a shout out to Tom Hanley, Assistant Direct of ESCORT (the migrant professional services organization at the State University of New York Oneonta), dean of the consultants and advisors that work with migrant education programs throughout the United States, and a trusted partner of Arroyo Research Services.

For the past 30 years Tom has been a tireless advocate for migrant students and the people and programs that work with them. His impact has been both structural and personal: affecting how migrant education programs organize and execute programs, motivating and inspiring people to find meaning and passion their work, and directly engaging with migrant youth. (more…)

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