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Meta-evaluation in Educational Program Evaluation

A frequently asked question of:
The Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation [ERIC/AE]
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Example queries:

As a school board member/principal, how can I ascertain the credibility of an external evaluation that was completed for our school?

Our school staff is planning a self evaluation of a program at our school. What guidelines should we follow in planning and conducting our self evaluation?

How can I approach a decision about whether or not a school's teacher evaluation policies and procedures do what they purport to do? How can we know that our teacher evaluation program is aligned to our goals for teachers' improvement?

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Meta-evaluation is "the evaluation of evaluations - indirectly, the evaluation of evaluators - and represents an ethical as well as a scientific obligation when the welfare of others is involved. It can and should be done in the first place by an evaluator on his or her own work; although the credibility of this is poor, the results are considerable gains in validity...[Because] the results of self-evaluation are notoriously unreliable, however, it is also desirable, wherever cost-justifiable, to use an independent evaluator for the meta-evaluation." (Scriven, 1991, p.228). [Ed. note: Michael Scriven first articulated the concept of meta-evaluation in 1969.)

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ERIC DIGESTS [Topical Overviews in Full-Text]

Some Evaluation Questions [1998] - by William Shadish


The Program Evaluation Standards: Summary of the Standards - [1994] - Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation

Personnel Evaluation Standards: Summary of the Standards [1988] - Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation

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Dynamic (i.e., Live) Search of the ERIC Documents Database for Meta-evaluation in Educational Program Evaluation
The following search option employs the electronic Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors as the search interface for the ERIC documents database. If you would like to ensure a current bibliography of ERIC documents for this topic, then we highly recommend that you pursue this option. Also, once you have selected this search option, you may edit the given strategy to introduce concepts into the search to accommodate your specific needs; or, you can build an entirely new search strategy in the ERIC Search Wizard. For a short, highly selective bibliography, please see the Selected ERIC Documents Citations below.

Selected ERIC Documents Citations for Meta-evaluation in Educational Program Evaluation
Although less current and less plentiful than the Dynamic Search option (above), this selective bibliography presents ERIC documents citations that have been preselected on the basis of the thoroughness and/or authority and/or uniqueness that they reflect.

Selected ERIC Documents Citations for Evaluating Teacher Evaluation Programs

Instructions for ERIC Documents Access

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[Check your local library or bookstore for access]

	Cook, T.D. and Gruder, C.L. (1978). Metaevalution research. Evaluation
Quarterly, 2, 5-51.
	Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (1988). The
personnel evaluation standards: how to assess systems for evaluating educators.
Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
	Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (1994). The
program evaluation standards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

	Scriven, M. (1969). An introduction to meta-evaluation. Educational
Product Report, 2 (5), 36-38.

	Scriven, M. (1991). Evaluation thesaurus (4th ed.).  Newbury Park, CA:
Sage Publications.
[N.B. In the above work, see entries for Meta-Evaluation, Key Evaluation
Checklist and GAO Checklist.] 
	Stufflebeam, D. L. (1976). Meta-evaluation. Kalamazoo, MI: The
Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University.
	Stufflebeam, D. L. (1981). Meta-evaluation: concepts, standards and uses.
In R. A. Berk (Ed.), Educational evaluation methodology: the state of the art.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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American Educational Research Association Division H: School Evaluation & Program Development [AERA-H]
AERA is the premier professional organization for education-related scholarly inquiry; AERA H offers a newsletter and a discussion forum (listserv) for school program evaluation issues.

American Evaluation Association [AEA]
AEA is a professional association dedicated to all aspects of evaluation in a wide range of settings. Peruse the AEA Topical Interest Groups (TIGs) and the AEA Electronic Lists to select from a variety of pertinent support networks.

The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University
The Evaluation Center is a research and professional development center for evaluation in education and human services. The Evaluation Center offers such products and services as classic publications and serials for evaluation program models and processes, a Directory of Evaluators, and the Consortium for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation (CREATE).

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Publication Notes:
Created: July 20, 1999
Last Revised: August 3, 1999

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