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The oversight team also wanted to understand more about the strength of the relationship between classroom use of READ and state assessment scores and between use of READ assessment data for instructional planning and state assessment scores. It noted this on the logic model and asked the E-Team to investigate the linkages further in the second year of the evaluation.

Making Recommendations The READ oversight team recommended that the READ program be offered to all students in the district. It also recommended that the program be incorporated into the regular curriculum. The team felt that the positive findings regarding test scores were strong enough that all students should have access to it.

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However, since READ funding was still at the 50 percent level for the second year, the oversight team planned to work with Dr. Elm and the E-Team for another year in order to continue to refine the implementation of the program in the classroom and to further understand the success of the READ program with students. To do this, the team recommended that the second-year evaluation include student surveys and focus groups as data sources to address objectives related to student interaction and engagement in the classroom.

The oversight team decided to continue to advocate for the program’s expansion in the hope that it would be institutionalized soon.

 

 

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Appendix B: Embedded Evaluation Illustration – NowPLAN* Program Snapshot Strategic Planning for Learning and Achievement in Nowgarden (NowPLAN) is part of a statewide, strategic planning initiative. The example in Appendix B focuses on the building-level evaluation of a state’s strategic technology plan (NowPLAN-T). The NowPLAN-T evaluation uses theory-based, embedded evaluation within a mixed-method design.

*The example set out in this appendix is provided solely for the purpose of illustrating how the principles in this guide can be applied in actual situations. The programs, characters, schools, and school district mentioned in the example are fictitious.

Step 1: Define the Program

Background Every six years, Nowgarden School District’s State Department of Education requires each district to create a new strategic plan. This strategic plan is intended to drive the district’s initiatives and strategies over the next six years, as well as to provide a means with which to monitor and evaluate the implementation of these initiatives and strategies.

Nowgarden School District recently completed its strategic planning process. With the help of teachers, administrators, board members, and the community, Nowgarden developed a 6-year plan that includes action plans for student learning, professional development, additional learning opportunities, safety and security, technology, and communication. The district’s technology plan, in particular, was modeled after the state technology plan and is intended as the foundation to build a districtwide technology program that will support the 21st century learner.

The Evaluation The Nowgarden School District administration asked a local evaluation organization to help them plan and conduct an evaluation of their strategic plan. The organization assigned an evaluator to work with the district to create an evaluation design. The external evaluator and the district created an evaluation of the district’s 6-year strategic plan that includes both quantitative and qualitative measures and has two foci:

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1. Formative evaluation to help shape and improve the implementation of the plan strategies.

2. Summative evaluation of the plan to determine its overall success with students.

The main focus of this multiyear evaluation is to monitor how well the district has achieved its primary learning-related long-term goal: to improve the achievement of all students.

As part of its strategic planning, Nowgarden identified the six key strategies below that it will employ to meet the primary long-term goal. The strategic plan evaluation also will examine and monitor the extent to which and how well the district’s primary learning goal is being met as the district implements these strategies.

While Nowgarden School District and its external evaluator will design a comprehensive evaluation of all six strategies, they chose to first design the evaluation of the district’s technology component of the strategic plan.

Program Goals Nowgarden School District’s strategic plan and its related technology plan have one primary long-term goal: to improve student achievement. However, a longer-term goal of the district is to ultimately improve postsecondary success for all students.

Program Strategies and Activities – NowPLAN Nowgarden identified six key strategies to meet the district’s long-term goals:

1. Provide an engaging and challenging education program.

2. Provide the necessary resources and professional development for teachers.

3. Provide additional opportunities and supports for students.

4. Provide a safe and healthy educational environment.

5. Provide the technological tools necessary for the 21st century learner.

6. Effectively communicate with and engage the community.

Strategy #5, provide the technological tools necessary for the 21st century learner, will be the focus of this example.

A logic model shell of the entire Nowgarden strategic plan, titled NowPLAN Logic Model, is provided in Figure 4: NowPLAN Logic Model.

Note that the “improved postsecondary success” goal is not currently addressed through the NowPLAN evaluation. However, the district does plan to examine progress toward this goal in the future through graduate follow-up surveys and focus groups.

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Also note that the strategy related to the districtwide technology plan is highlighted. The relationship between the district’s technology plan and its long-term goals will be explored throughout the remainder of this appendix.

When referring to the technology component of the overall strategic plan, the acronym NowPLAN-T will be used.

 

 

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Figure 4: NowPLAN Logic Model

 

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Program Strategies and Activities – NowPLAN-T The NowPLAN-T evaluation examines Nowgarden’s strategy to create a technology plan that provides the technological tools necessary for the 21st century learner. The district identified seven activities that comprise the technology plan strategy.

1. Districtwide Technology Curriculum: to create a districtwide technology curriculum K- 12. The technology curriculum should integrate technology into the core curriculum.

2. Student Technology Orientation: to create a technology orientation plan for students (initially for all students, and then for new students transferring into the district).

3. Technology Professional Development Model: to create a districtwide professional development model. The model will focus on improving student learning, best instructional practice, and administrative functions such as data management and assessment.

4. Teacher Technology Orientation: to create a technology orientation plan for teachers (initially for all teachers, and then for new teachers transitioning into the district).

5. Technology-based Communications: to fully develop the use of technology resources for communication throughout the school community.

6. Technology-based Additional Learning Opportunities: to provide technology-based additional learning opportunities (ALOs) for students, including but not limited to distance learning and extended school day opportunities.

7. Hardware and Software Acquisition Plan: to create a districtwide software and hardware acquisition plan.

Relating Strategies to Goals: Program Theory The overall theory behind the NowPLAN-T program is that by providing

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