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This issue of The Evaluation Exchange periodical focuses on evaluation methodology, covering topics in contemporary evaluation thinking, techniques, and tools. Mel Mark, president-elect of the American Evaluation Association, kicks off the issue with a discussion about the role that evaluation theory plays in our methodological choices. Other voices in the issue include Georgia State University evaluator Gary Henry, who makes the case for a paradigm shift in how we think about evaluation use and influence, and Robert Boruch, a Campbell Collaboration founder, who discusses the role of randomized trials in defining “what works.” Other contributors to the issue respond to various “how to” questions, such as how to foster strategic learning, how to find tools that assess nonprofit organizational capacity, how to select and use various outcome models, how to increase the number of evaluators of color, how to enhance multicultural competency in evaluation, and how to measure what we value so others value what we measure. Finally, the issue explores theory of change, cluster evaluation, and retrospective pretests—methodological approaches currently generating much interest and dialogue.
Robert Boruch, a founder of the Campbell Collaboration and professor of education and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses how the Campbell Collaboration and randomized trials contribute to evidence-based policy.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wellsys Corporation describe how they plan to aggregate lessons learned across a "thematic cluster" of youth development investments.
Teresa Boyd Cowles of the Connecticut Department of Education offers self-reflective strategies evaluators can use to enhance their multicultural competency.
Mehmet Öztürk discusses findings from a review of evaluations of programs at selective colleges and universities to be used for improving undergraduate academic outcomes for underrepresented minority or disadvantaged students.
An introduction to the issue on Evaluation Methodology by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.
Rodney Hopson and Prisca Collins of Duquesne University describe a new graduate internship program designed to develop leaders in the evaluation field and improve evaluators' capacity to work responsively in diverse racial and ethnic communities.
Andrea Anderson is a research associate at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change, where she focuses on work related to planning and evaluating community initiatives.
Theodore Lamb, of the Center for Research and Evaluation at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, discusses retrospective pretests and their strengths and weaknesses.
Gary Henry makes the case for a paradigm shift in how we think about evaluation use and influence.
Patricia Rogers of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology describes how a theory of change can provide coherence in evaluating national initiatives that are both complicated and complex.
Foundation executives discuss their efforts to connect the many contexts in which children live and learn in order to increase the impact of their investments in these areas.
Dr. Hector Garza of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships describes what he looks for when evaluating educational partnerships.
Dennie Palmer Wolf and Jennifer Bransom offer lessons from the evaluation of a Dallas-based effort to promote
The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, and initiatives related to the issue
The topic of this issue of The Evaluation Exchange is complementary learning. Complementary learning posits that we can bolster children's learning and achievement by linking and aligning both the school and nonschool arenas in which children live, learn, and play. This means, for example, linking schools with early childhood programs, out-of-school time programs, and other programs based in the community. In this issue we delve into the kinds of mechanisms that can create these linkages and sustain their effectiveness, and highlight promising approaches for evaluating the complementary-learning practices that already exist, both in terms of what outcomes to focus on and what methodologies to use.
An introduction to the issue on Complementary Learning by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.
Priscilla Little of HFRP reviews Supplementary Education, a new compilation of essays and papers edited by Edmund Gordon, Beatrice Bridglall, and Aundra Saa Meroe.
Describing a new study by HFRP, Holly Kreider illustrates how research and data can illuminate and facilitate links between complementary learning contexts.
On behalf of their partners in the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development, Linda Miller and Carol Behrer describe a statewide interagency collaboration to coordinate educational policies, practices, and programs.
Harvard Family Research Project introduces complementary learning as a concept for improving learning outcomes without relying solely on school-based reform.
Kelly Faughnan from HFRP describes a program that connects families and schools in the Boston area through the mechanism of technology.
Richard Rothstein argues that narrowing the achievement gap requires substantial changes in social policy in addition to extensive school reform.
A group of researchers illlustrate how the practice of family engagement can link the out-of-school time, school, and home contexts.
Sara Tenney-Espinosa, of the Seattle School District, describes the evaluation goals and early findings from a collaboration between the district and local after school providers.