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A School-Based Reading Program Evaluation

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Presentation on theme: "A School-Based Reading Program Evaluation"— Presentation transcript:

1 A School-Based Reading Program Evaluation
Michael F. Lewis, Ph.D. Niagara Falls City School District

2 Changing Education Funding
Current changes in educational funding New federal grant opportunities Private grant opportunities This funding often requires increased accountability

3 Accountability Landscape in the U.S. has shifted to mandated levels of accountability in many areas due to recent events Deceptive accounting in business ENRON Abuse of school district budgets Roslyn School District (New York)

4 Accountability Recently, when funding is awarded accountability is achieved through program evaluation program evaluation required by independent evaluators Mandated compensation (7%) Strict accounting of expenditures The budget is fixed

5 What is Program Evaluation?
Definition: a formalized approach to studying the goals, processes, and impacts of projects, policies and programs can involve quantitative or qualitative methods of social research (or both) People who do program evaluation come from many different backgrounds: sociology, psychology, economics, social work

6 Types of Program Evaluation
A needs assessment examines the nature of the problem that the program is meant to address The program theory is the formal description of the program's concept and design Process analysis evaluates how the program is being implemented The impact evaluation determines the causal effects of the program Cost-effectiveness analysis assesses the efficiency of a program.

7 Impact Evaluation Impact evaluation is the most common form of program evaluation Determines (as best as possible) the effects of a particular program along some criteria DARE (on decreasing drug use) PBIS (on reducing negative behaviors in school) RTI (on reducing # of students identified as LD)

8 Program Evaluation can be both or either
Evaluation as Research As conceptualized by: Stephen Truscott, Psy.D. (Georgia State University) Big ‘R’ research University Run For Publication Large Scale Little ‘r’ research Individually Run For Information Small Scale Program Evaluation can be both or either

9 The role of the School Psychologist
We do EVERYTHING!!! SP has evolved: We are now Jack (and mostly Jill) of all trades We were special education evaluators We are now increasingly responsible for many activities related to General Education Including evaluation of programs

10 Program Evaluation In Action
Niagara Falls School District evaluation of: Fast ForWord (FFWD) Computer-based Auditory Processing and Literacy Skills Timed ‘protocols’ for going through program 50, 90, and 120 minute protocols The Problem: FFWD has never appeared in peer-reviewed literature

11 The Problem (continued)
Fast ForWord Proprietary program No real scientific evaluation of program How do we know it is really effective? We do a program evaluation on student’s who use FFWD…

12 FFWD Evaluation The Subject The Evaluation
Administration of FFWD to entire 2nd grade 50 minute protocol (run every day) The Evaluation Pre-test/Post-test design Evaluate every 2nd grader in reading Analyze findings for increase in reading scores

13 FFWD Evaluation To evaluate you must have a measure The Measure: GRADE
Group Reading Assessment (and) Diagnostic Evaluation Standardized, norm-referenced

14 FFWD Evaluation To evaluate you must have a measure
The other Measure: DRA Diagnostic Reading Assessment (This is a tool we use locally for Reading level)

15 FFWD Evaluation The Procedure: Every 2nd grader participated
Daily 50-minute FFWD protocol Ran for 20 weeks Took GRADE before and after FFWD Classroom instruction did not change

16 FFWD Evaluation The Procedure (a summary) 1) GRADE pre-test
2) 20 weeks of FFWD (50 minute protocol) 3) GRADE post-test 4) Score and analyze GRADE results 5) Determine effects of FFWD on reading

17 FFWD Evaluation Statistics: Imported GRADE data into SPSS
SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Sciences Computed Paired Samples t-tests on all students with pre/post GRADE data Same computation for DRA levels This determined statistical significance Not the whole story…

18 FFWD Evaluation Statistics:
Statistical Significance vs. Effect Size Effect size determines a measurable degree of the statistical significance Effect size reported in standard deviation form Evaluation can have statistical significance but a small Effect Size

19 FFWD Findings Paired Sample t-Test

20 FFWD Findings Paired Sample t-Test

21 FFWD Findings Statistical Significance vs. Effect size
With a large sample it is highly likely that even a small change will indicate a statistical significance ≈380 students is a large sample size

22 These are considered small effect sizes
FFWD Findings Effect Size takes more realistic look at actual increase of significant findings Hedge’s G: one way to calculate effect size g = t √(n1 + n2) / √(n1n2) or g = 2t / √ N Effect Size findings: Vocabulary: g = .27 Comprehension: g = .35 Total Test: g = .33 These are considered small effect sizes

23 Errors Inefficiency Evaluation Design
No need for testing of all students Maintain statistical meaning w/ smaller random sample this was ignored by district administration Administration Testing all students reduces control of standard administration Evaluation Design No Control Group No way of determining if FFWD caused increased GRADE scores w/out control group

24 ???Questions??? Program Evaluation Reference: Contact:
Posavac, E. & Carey, R. (2006). Program Evaluation: Methods and Case Studies (7th Ed.). Prentice Hall, New York, NY. Contact:

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