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NCJ Number: 51889 Find in a Library
Title: MANAGEMENT BY EVALUATION (FROM USING SOCIAL RESEARCH IN PUBLIC POLICY MAKING, 1978, BY CAROL H WEISS)
Author(s): E F MCGOWAN
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CASE HISTORY OF AN EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATIONAL PROJECT IS GIVEN TO DEMONSTRATE THE MISAPPLICATION OF RATIONAL EVALUATION CONCEPTS TO BROAD SOCIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS. THE PROS AND CONS OF SUCH EVALUATION ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE CASE HISTORY USES THE FICTITIOUS NAME 'EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATIONAL PROJECT' TO DESCRIBE A PROGRAM FOR UNMOTIVATED ADOLESCENTS. THE CONCEPT INVOLVED GETTING THE YOUTH OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND INTO ACTUAL WORK SITUATIONS. IT WAS IMPLEMENTED IN FOUR INNOVATIVE HIGH SCHOOLS, UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF FOUR DEVELOPING AGENCIES. WHEN A REORGANIZATION OF THE FEDERAL AGENCY FUNDING THE PROGRAM LED TO A CHANGE IN ADMINISTRATION, A FULL, MANAGEMENT-ORIENTED EVALUATION WAS ORDERED. THE HISTORY OF THIS EVALUATION, WHICH ULTIMATELY COST $500,000, IS TRACED. THE ORIGINAL PURPOSES WERE CLEAR: TO CLARIFY PROGRAM GOALS, TO REVEAL THE BEST METHODS FOR ACHIEVING THEM, TO HELP MONITOR THE DEVELOPER'S WORK, AND TO INSULATE THE PROJECT FROM CRITICISM. UNFORTUNATELY, THE DEVELOPERS WERE NEVER CONSULTED AND THE INITIAL ATTEMPTS RESULTED IN A SERIES OF FRUITLESS MEETINGS AND REJECTED EVALUATION DESIGNS. FINALLY A THIRD-PARTY EVALUATION WAS COMMISSIONED. THIS ATTEMPT RESULTED IN MUCH FALSE DATA BECAUSE THE PROGRAM DEVELOPERS REPORTED ONLY WHAT THE FUNDING AGENCY WISHED TO HEAR. THE FINAL EVALUATION DID NOT PROVIDE THE HOPED-FOR RATIONALITY AND EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT, BUT IT DID HELP THE AGENCY SECURE ADDITIONAL FUNDING AND PROVED USEFUL THEATRICALLY AND SYMBOLICALLY. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT AS LONG AS CONGRESS AND FEDERAL AGENCIES INSIST ON RATIONAL EVALUATIONS OF BROAD, GENERAL PROGRAMS, THIS HISTORY WILL BE REPEATED. NOTES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluation of evaluation; Management; Planning
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51889

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