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Evaluation Plan Guidance

The Evaluation Plan guidance and template is provided to assist districts with developing a strong evaluation plan.

Meaningful, focused, and aligned

It is important for measures to be aligned to the objective and aligned to the larger goal of the innovative program that is proposed for a student learning time waiver. When considering a proposed measure ask: would all stakeholders agree this is the most effective and efficient means for representing the innovative program's faithfulness to its mission and key design elements?

Leave little room for interpretation

All stakeholders should be able to read a given measure and have the same understanding of what the result will be, who will achieve the result, when it is expected to be reached, and how we will know if it has been reached. Each measure should answer the following specific questions:

  • What will the result be?
  • How will the result be measured? (specify an assessment tool)
  • Who will achieve the result?
  • When will the result occur? (set a timeframe or target date)

It may be helpful to design effective measures as SMART Goals:

Specific and Strategic; Measurable; Action Oriented; Rigorous, Realistic and Results-focused; and Timed. Example: Objective is to lose weight.

It's Specific and Strategic = 10 pounds, 1 mile
It's Measurable = pounds, miles
It's Action-oriented = lose, run

Outline evidence that is reasonable to collect

Evaluation plans should avoid trying to assess what cannot be measured. The feelings, beliefs, and perceptions of individuals or groups of people, for example, can be hard to measure reliably - unless the district uses a well tested survey tool and designs the tool carefully. Measures are more meaningful when they prompt the collection of evidence that is readily available and integrated in the innovative program's promised or implemented practices. This can only be determined by considering the perspective of the person(s) collecting the evidence. If the time and effort needed to collect the evidence outweighs the value gained from reflecting on it, there is likely a better way.

Outcome vs. Process Measures

Measures can take two forms - outcome measures and process measures.

Outcome measures outline the expected results. All objectives must be linked with at least one outcome measure that is well-aligned to the objective.

Process measures track the implementation of activities that will lead to the desired ultimate outcomes. It is not necessary to use process measures. However, these measures can be a useful addition to outcome measures, particularly for new schools, for when a school launches a significant initiative, or for aspects of the program that are difficult to quantify, such as character development or the implementation of sound governance practices. Such process measures focus on how something will be done.


Key Objective #1: Increase the number of students graduating from high school.

(Outcome example)
What is the intended result?High school four-year cohort graduation rates for the district rise by 1 percentage point
How will the result be measured?State-reported graduation rates
Target date?By the graduation cohort of 2017

(Process example)
What is the intended result?All students meet with a graduation coach weekly to help remove barriers to high school completion
How will the result be measured?Graduation coach logs
Target date?During the 2016-17 school year

Last Updated: July 28, 2016
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