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PE Standards Week: The Influence of the Program Evaluation Standards by Paula Egelson

Hello from Charleston, South Carolina. I am Paula Egelson, retired from the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta as the director of Research and Accountability. For the past 25 years, I have been a committee member of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE). For almost 50 years, the mission of the JCSEE has been to create and disseminate evaluation standards that support education and social improvement. The focus of this blog is the influence of JCSEE’s Program Evaluation Standards (PES) on evaluators.

Those in the field often ponder the impact of the Program Evaluation Standards. The authors of the PES third edition were recently interviewed about the influence of the PES and discussed how the standards were rooted in scholarship. The PES were created as both an organizing principle for evaluators doing scholarly work and a framework in which to consider the role of scholarship. Evaluators could create consensual truth to make policy decisions. The higher the stakes in the evaluation, the more stakeholders would want the evaluation to turn out a particular way. If the standards were used authentically, they safeguarded evaluators from being impeached.

Lessons Learned

For another perspective, it was valuable to query others in the fields of evaluation and research with connections to the JCSEE about the influence of the PES standards in their work.

  • Two professors who I interviewed mentioned sharing the standards and assigning projects using the standards to their graduate students.
  • A third researcher described the PES as offering a different direction in providing an equity-based vision for authentic results and solutions.
  • A fourth researcher remarked that the serious structural and content changes made in the transition from the second to the third edition of the PES permitted his task force on Classroom Assessment Standards to strive for relevance and usefulness.

I believe these past influences will help support the fourth revision of the PES, which is currently taking place.

Rad Resource

Read more insights from my interview with the authors of the third edition of the PES in the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation.

Check out Through a Culturally Competent Lens: Why the Program Evaluation Standards Matter by Sarah Gill, Robin Kuwahara, and Maureen Wilce

This week, we’re diving the Program Evaluation Standards. Articles will (re)introduce you to the Standards and the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE), the organization responsible for developing, reviewing, and approving evaluation standards in North America. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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