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Evaluation Research Appropriate for any study of planned or actual social intervention. Goal is to determine whether a social intervention has produced.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation Research Appropriate for any study of planned or actual social intervention. Goal is to determine whether a social intervention has produced."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation Research Appropriate for any study of planned or actual social intervention. Goal is to determine whether a social intervention has produced the intended result. Results are not always well received.

2 Examples of Evaluation Research Fernandez, Kenneth "Evaluating School Improvement Plans and their Influence on Academic Performance." Educational Policy 25, 2: Fernandez, Kenneth "Evaluating School Improvement Plans and their Influence on Academic Performance." Educational Policy 25, 2: Fernandez, Kenneth and Timothy Bowman “Race, Political Institutions, and Criminal Sentencing: An Examination of the Sentencing of Latino Offenders” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 36, 1 (Fall): Fernandez, Kenneth and Timothy Bowman “Race, Political Institutions, and Criminal Sentencing: An Examination of the Sentencing of Latino Offenders” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 36, 1 (Fall): Fernandez, Kenneth and Max Neiman "California’s Inmate Classification System: Predicting Inmate Misconduct," Prison Journal 78 (December): Fernandez, Kenneth and Max Neiman "California’s Inmate Classification System: Predicting Inmate Misconduct," Prison Journal 78 (December):

3 Policy Analysis vs. Evaluation Terms often used interchangeably Policy analysis is often a broader concept – Interested in past and future effects – Often contains a decision criteria – Analysis refers to investigating the true merits of various actions and using that information to make informed and logical choices (Stone 2002) Policy or Program evaluation is usually more narrow - The goal is to determine whether a social intervention has produced the intended result.

4 Types of Measurement in Evaluation Research Outcome (response variable) Experimental Context - aspects of the context of an experiment that might affect the experiment. Experimental Stimulus (interventions) Population - demographic variables as well as variables defining the population.

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6 Ad hoc Evaluation Hearings and Agency Reports Site Visits Program measures – Descriptive statistics Comparison with professional standards – Thresholds, minimums, maximums Survey of Public Opinion

7 Evaluation Research Designs: Experimental designs – Control/treatment group Quasi-experimental designs – Time-series design – Correlational design – Cross-sectional designs Qualitative evaluations – Focus groups, interviews, Historical Comparative

8 Social Indicators Research Provides an understanding of broader social processes. Researchers are developing more refined indicators. Research is being devoted to discovering the relationships among variables within whole societies. Examples: infant mortality rates; homicide rates; auto fatalities; voting rates; government spending

9 Examples: Dye (1966)

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11 Potential Problems with Evaluations Bias toward positive results Hawthorne Effect Overgeneralization Ethical problems/withholding treatment

12 Why Results Are Ignored Implications may not be presented in a way that nonresearchers can understand. Results sometimes contradict deeply held beliefs. Vested interest in a program. Ideological/political support/opposition for policies/policy types

13 Explaining away negative results Effects are long range Effects are diffuse, multidimensional Not enough money Problem with research design/methodology Conflicting results

14 Conflicting Results Meier, Kenneth J., Robert D. Wrinkle, and J. L. Polinard Representative Bureaucracy and Distributional Equity: Addressing the Hard Question. The Journal of Politics 61, 4(November): Nielson, Laura B., and Patrick J. Wolf Representative Bureaucracy and Harder Questions: A Response to Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard. The Journal of Politics 63, 2(May): Meier, Kenneth J., Warren S. Eller, Robert D. Wrinkle, and J. L. Polinard Zen and the Art of Policy Analysis: A Response to Nielson and Wolf. The Journal of Politics 63, 2(May):

15 Conflicting Results Greene, Peterson, & Du Effectiveness of School Choice. Education & Urban Society 31 (2): 190—213 Witte The Milwaukee Voucher Experiment. Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, 20(4):


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