When President Obama signed ESSA into law in December of 2015, it ushered in a new era for education policy. ESSA continues the tradition of ensuring students encounter effective programs, now with clearer definitions of “effectiveness” and added focus on the efficiency, or cost effectiveness, of programs. The need to efficiently use the education dollar is a primary concern of local, state, and federal policy-makers.
Take these 3 Steps Toward Knowing Which Instructional Programs Are Working
Use the “Ingredients Method” to determine the true cost of a program.
Use a methodologically-sound evaluation of student growth. To isolate a program’s impact on student performance, the researcher must carefully select a rigorous method of review.
Evaluate fidelity of implementation. Implementation data are useful to have when reviewing outcomes of an intervention, and it is a necessary part of ensuring a program is working as planned. Evaluating interim goals allows for quick changes of course, if needed, and increases the likelihood of a program’s impact.
Cost-effectiveness research is a critical part of a larger plan of program evaluation. While administrators should evaluate all programs and policies in an ongoing fashion, new and outgoing programs and those implemented with reporting requirements (such as programs that use federal or state categorical funds) demand a more rigorous cost and effectiveness evaluation.
Allovue believes that:
- cost should be determined to allow for replicability across district, state, and nation
- effectiveness should be determined using a scientific methodology
- fidelity of program implementation is a fundamental component of program evaluation
Policy-makers can confidently choose the most reliably implemented, cost-effective, and educationally efficacious approaches to improving schools and student outcomes among programs when armed with the information contained in cost-effectiveness studies.