267.  Some programs look good on paper.   Where is the accountability?


This is, indeed, a GREAT question!!!  

There are two types of program evaluation: (1) formative program evaluation and (2) summative program evaluation.   Each of these two types of evaluation have different functions.

FORMATIVE evaluation refers to the types of indicators that are used to document that a program is being implemented AS PLANNED, that is, as it has been described “on paper.”    During the initial implementation of a program, formative evaluation helps describe what the program looks like “on paper,” comparing that to what the program actually looks like, in other words, how exactly is the program being implemented?  

For example, if “on paper” the program calls for team teaching, then several indicators can be used during periodic and frequent FORMATIVE evaluations to document that, indeed, teachers are teaching in teams, sharing their planning time and coordinating and integrating their lessons.  For example, teachers could complete a survey where they describe how they integrate, coordinate and team plan their lessons.   Observations in classrooms could be used to physically document how teachers teach in teams.  Schedules and even student questionnaires could help ascertain that indeed teachers are teaching in teams as described “on paper.” 

Formative evaluations can be done every month, every three months, every semester, etc.   The schedule for gathering information on the indicators that  serve to ascertain that the program is being implemented as described “on paper” may require very frequent or more sporadic opportunities for gathering the necessary information.  

SUMMATIVE evaluation refers to the results obtained after appropriately implementing the program planned and described “on paper” for a certain period of time or at the very end of the program.  For a summative evaluation one may consider test results, student absenteeism, drop-out rates, teacher turn-over, hours of instruction provided by instructional aides, etc.   Many types of indicators may be considered to document whether the planned program –implemented appropriately as described “on paper,” has been successful in bringing about the desired results.  Summative evaluations may be conducted at the end of each year of the program, or at the very end of the program.   Some of the indicators used in formative evaluations may be also used in summative evaluations but the key difference is the inclusion of the RESULTS yielded by the program.

YES! There are ways to insure accountability to educational programs and FORMATIVE and SUMMATIVE evaluations are some of those ways!!!      




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

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3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net