Improving Educational Evaluation in a Political Setting.

by Robert Klitgaard

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Discusses a series of theoretical and practical problems of assessing effects of school policies using imperfect achievement data and limited controls for the nonschool factors that influence scores. In the context of a case study, it is seen how seemingly "technical" issues of collecting, analyzing, and presenting achievement score data interrelate with the overriding political and organizational problems of a statewide evaluation. There is also a problem of making collected information useful to policymakers while avoiding misuse and misinterpretation of the data. The paper suggests several ways to analyze limited information that both improve the decisionmaking relevance of evaluation and decrease the adverse political consequences. 33 pp. Ref.

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