Key Findings in District Program Evaluations

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Faced with an uncertain financial future due to COVID-19, districts can expect to experience budgetary pressures during the 2020-21 school year and beyond. Districts will have to make difficult budgetary choices, determining which programs to launch or expand and which initiatives to scale back or perhaps discontinue altogether.

Districts that regularly and systematically evaluate program performance can make these decisions based on an understanding of which initiatives have the greatest impact and offer the greatest return on investment. Other districts may find themselves making budgetary cuts based on information that is, at best, incomplete, or at worst, misleading.

This brief summarizes key findings from the survey and offers recommendations to help districts use program evaluations to navigate this uncertain environment and create a solid foundation for a successful future.

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Key Findings in District Program Evaluations

Understand The Barriers and Strategies to Successful Program Evaluations

Resource constraints, especially dedicated funding and time, are the most significant barriers to program evaluation efforts. 70% of respondents consider dedicated funding to be a moderate or significant barrier, while 61% feel similarly about the lack of dedicated time. Nearly 60% also note the need for staff training as a top challenge. Among district administrators, in particular, engaging stakeholders in the evaluation process represents a common barrier (63%).

Download this brief to understand the barriers and solutions to successful program evaluations.

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