Opinion
School & District Management Opinion

The “Program Evaluation” Bar - Why Just for SES Providers?

January 08, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Today, I was struck by how easy it is for states to run with No Child Left Behind’s standards of effectiveness for its school districts’ new business competitors – Supplementary Educational Services (SES) providers, and how hard it seems to be for them to implement comparable rules for districts’ traditional business partners. The traditional structure of public education isn’t opposed to business involvement in teaching and learning, but to new businesses entering the field.Consider New Jersey’s revised SES application:

Under NCLB, each State is responsible for defining acceptable evidence of effectiveness. Criteria developed for selection, approval and monitoring of providers must include, but are not limited to the following...

1. A demonstrated record of effectiveness in improving student academic
achievement….

Without exception, all applicants must provide a clear, concise narrative including evidence program effectiveness in improving academic achievement.

Note: New and renewal applications will be evaluated on the extent to which there is a demonstrated record of effectiveness in improving academic achievement. Weighted consideration is given to evidence of positive impact on student achievement measured by State and district assessments. Evidence of positive impact on additional outcomes (e.g., school grades, family/parent satisfaction, student discipline, student attendance, and/or retention/promotion rates) is also considered as well as provider conducted studies, data on student outcomes, and other sources of evidence. Please note that priority will be given to third-party, independent research....

1. Provide evidence that the program has had a positive impact on student achievement as demonstrated through a State, district, and/or other independent, valid, and reliable performance test, particularly for low-income, underachieving students.

Readers of edbizbuzz and listeners to my podcasts at SIIW Online know I’ve been very hard on SES providers’ failure to make the evaluation of results a high priority. Rest assured that this is not an argument in their defense. All providers of products, services and programs aimed at improving student academic performance should have to demonstrate their value-added.

This is an effort to point out that our current system of public education is perfectly capable of making informed judgments about the quality of educational products, services and programs – when it is incentivized to do so.

In the context of NCLB - SES providers are seen as competitors and their services a form of financial punishment. Lowering the bar of school accountability by weakening the calculus of Adequate Yearly Progress is one reaction. Zealous enforcement of the laws on Research-Based requirement is another. Both are aimed at reducing competetion.

Why not extend the program review to, say, textbooks? Because textbook providers are part of the traditional system, fundamental to the status quo. Disrupting those business relationships is contrary to the system’s institutional stablity.

But, hey, now we know that regulation based on SBR is not fundamentally a problem of capacity. It’s one of interest.

The opinions expressed in edbizbuzz are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion If You Can’t Maintain an Initiative, Maybe You Shouldn’t Do It
Schools are often really good at finding new initiatives to implement but aren't always good at maintaining. Here's a model to consider.
5 min read
Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 7.57.56 AM
Shutterstock
School & District Management Schools Are Desperate for Substitutes and Getting Creative
Now in the substitute-teacher pool: parents, college students, and the National Guard.
10 min read
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. Many schools have vacant teaching and/or support staff jobs and no available substitutes to cover day-to-day absences.
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on a Friday in December 2021.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
School & District Management 3 Ways School Districts Can Ease the Pain of Supply Chain Chaos
Have a risk management plan, pay attention to what's happening up the supply chain, and be adaptable when necessary.
3 min read
Cargo Ship - Supply Chain with products such as classroom chairs, milk, paper products, and electronics
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
4 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP