Evaluation of Schools: An Expanded View
In this chapter, the authors explain the dominant view of school evaluation that focuses narrowly on high-stakes testing and test scores. To frame the issue of evaluating schools in terms of the distinction between ends and means opens the box that has been created by test-driven accountability. Instead, focusing on the means used to both attain and assess those ends allows an expanded range of strategies for achieving and evaluating ends, and also allows values other than those subject to testing to become part of the evaluation process. Whereas in a traditional social science approach to evaluation evaluators view others in a detached and uninvolved way as objects to be understood, individuals within a school open themselves to the experience of coming together as participants in the evaluation process, engaging in dialogue, and "sharing in a common meaning". The value of the strategies, and of evaluation generally, is to support educators' understanding of their school.