Schools across the country are beginning new school-based initiatives to address and improve the social, emotional, and academic needs of their students. Whether with the help of the recently funded “Now is The Time” grant programs (Project PREVENT, Project AWARE, and the School Climate Transformation Grants) or developed internally, schools are implementing new programs, collecting new data, and working towards better outcomes. In the process, it is easy to overlook perhaps the most central of questions – how do we know whether the programs that are being implemented are actually improving outcomes? Even the most evidence-based program may be ineffective for certain schools or groups of students(Bumbarger, Perkins, & Greenberg, 2010).
It is critical, then, to continually evaluate both program implementation and impact. Not all evaluations are useful, however. Here are five things to consider for evaluating new initiatives: Read More