Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Final Evaluation Design: The Kansas City Public Schools



Introduction to Evaluation
While evaluations come in various designs, the two most commonly used are formative and summative evaluations. The main reasons why evaluations are used, is to influence program decisions. According to Eseryel (2002), to enhance the evaluator in decision making and augment appropriate evaluations, the use of operational or procedural models has been found to be the best process in the preliminary stages. There could be confusion when program performance is beset by unnecessary prying from actors driven by selfish interests and greed. According to Rossi, Lipsey, and Freeman (2004, factors that most likely harm evaluations include public scrutiny and political involvement.

To ensure an evaluation is effective and acceptable to the highest authority and concerned stakeholders, the right tools must be given to the evaluator and minimal political meddling exercised. The main reasons evaluations are conducted are to improve programs, to make overall decisions whether a program is to be left to operate or to be terminated, and accountability that deals with providing data. Funding agents can be notified of what needs adjusting through funding or what requires management intervention.

 In the U.S., it has become common for congressional members, elected officials, state and county officials to demand accountability so that funding constraints can be imposed on social programs found to be not following the procedures set forth by the government accountability office. This is done to deter misappropriation of funds, mismanagement, embezzlement of coffers, and abuse of office.  

Allowing the evaluator to work independently helps alleviate misconceptions between the evaluator and stakeholders, thus helping place a permanent barrier for suppressing needless confrontations and unnecessary loggerheads. Since evaluations are at times intricate and unattainable without help from those having a stake in it, Rossi et al. (2004) perceive evaluator’s independence as best achieved when stakeholders provide input to the evaluations. Independent evaluations require being independent from external manipulation, taking responsibility for developing project evaluation, having complete control of project evaluation, conducting evaluation according to plan, and disseminating results without being subservient to any form of political entity. According to Lipsey et al. (2004), participatory or collective evaluation is defined as a collection of evaluators working together to pursue a project while in empowerment evaluation, evaluator and stakeholders work through collaboration to achieve their objectives (Lipsey et al., 2004). Formative and summative evaluations, the two evaluative methods that subject of our study, have distinct working characteristics.

Characteristics of Formative and Summative Evaluations
While formative evaluation deals with needs assessment which is assessing the needs of a social program, to the contrary, summative evaluation assesses the expected outcomes and impacts of a program and the avenues to be taken to address those inflicting concerns. In context evaluation, formative evaluation assesses the political, communal resources, and the general atmosphere a program operates or will operate while in summative evaluation, outcome evaluation which is synonymous with impact evaluation comes to play. In formative evaluation, assessing programs as anticipated is referred to as implementation evaluation while outcome monitoring, a process of continuous monitoring coupled with constant reporting, is synonymous with summative evaluation. Program process monitoring, progress evaluation, and evaluation purpose are the hallmarks of formative evaluation while the use of specific outcome analysis techniques is part of summative evaluation. In formative evaluation, purpose deals with program expectations while in summative evaluation, it assesses whether program target and objectives are being met. The evaluation questions that best reflect the functions of the Kansas City Schools are such:
Evaluation Research Questions
  • How effective is the school district functions since switching name?
  • How well organized are the school teachers?
Issue-Based Questions
  • How useful is the KCPS curriculum?
  • What services need to be adapted so that the school district can reach its objectives?
  • How will parents and teachers respond to the new school district services?
Questions of fact
  • How many students’ does the school district have at the moment?
  • How many teachers are on the school district’s payroll?
  • How long do the teachers serve the school district?
  • What form of education do the children get?
  • What type of support is available for children who speak foreign languages?
  • How much money does the state spend on each student?
Evaluation research questions specify if the program being evaluated is achieving factors specified in the logic model. Concrete issue-based questions focus on understanding program factors and anticipated results. Questions of fact deal with the type and effectiveness of a program, people involved and their numbers, program cost, and participant support. As the Kansas City Public Schools undergoes reorganization, stakeholders are keen to know whether procedures and plans will bear fruit. A new rule for the school year 2012-2013 requires parents to verify their residential addresses either by sending through fax, mail, or by e-mail three documents that warrant their presence in the district. These three documents may include a utility bill, mortgage payment stub, or other forms of documentation.

When conducting evaluations, one thing to bear in mind is to devise good evaluation questions that are reasonable, solvable, and helpful to program performance. According to Rossi et al. (2004), evaluation questions should be of value to stakeholders and decision makers. According to Kimball and Milanowski (2009), recently, for the sake of boosting confidence and student performance in the classroom, the federal government devised a new system of experimentation that calls for teacher experimentation so that evaluations can be conducted to determine how teachers fare in the classroom. A significant evaluation method, according to Kimball and Malinowski (2009), that can be used to elevate teacher performance, is the standard-based evaluation that contains rating scales and public standards. Danielson (1996) developed a commonly used standards-based teacher evaluation approach that contains 22 mechanisms that are part of four classroom instruction realm.

Motivation plays a great role in garnering feedback from participants and advancing performance. Evaluators who are lenient to participants usually tend to increase cooperation among the various groups struggling to make a difference in a particular program (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996). It is important that evaluators give credence to their evaluations by making recommendations to the decision makers. Iriti, Bikcel, and Nelson (2005) are of the view that an evaluation should be able to enlighten and advance the value and function of social projects, throw in enlightening discussions that elevate social action, be revolutionizing and be committed to change, and support compromise. Stakeholders can be discovered through the use of snowballing.

Snowballing methods are crucial in social arrangements as it can be used to categorize respondents so that the evaluator can expand the list of potential participants while getting more referrals from of a circle of social contacts. Also called chain-referral sampling, snowballing can be effective in nominating prospective eligible participants and has been found to be useful in out of sight populations. Within the snowball sampling are the other established customs that include respondent-driven sampling and adaptive sampling (Peterson & Valdez, 2005). Data collection is crucial in a school district that has lost accreditation like Kansas City Public Schools that was formerly known as The Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD). Using formative and summative methods will help evaluators discover the subject matter that most appeals to the overall school district transfiguration regardless of whether it is advancing student educational achievement, enhancing teacher training, replacing old school equipment, consolidating or eliminating unproductive departments, and establishing an atmosphere of peace and tranquility between the top echelons.

Two valuable and interesting aspects that have to be given thought and reflection are evaluation interest and program interest. One must not blindly undertake a program evaluation without having program interest and evaluation interest at heart. Ethical implications, when not followed, can be disastrous and bring disrepute to a program and those carrying out evaluations. In public policy, people endowed with authority have a responsibility to protect society and the scientific values they espouse. The study of moral behavior is called ethics and it has been borrowed from the Greek ethos.  One of the moral standards of ethics calls on humankind not to lie. Do not kill and do not steal are also moral standards that have to be observed in all circumstances by evaluators. The use of utilitarian ethics has been found to produce the greatest benefit in a society when right action or policy is pursued (McNabb, 2008). Other features that are common in ethics are rights ethics, justice ethics, virtue ethics, and caring ethics. In a nutshell, one has to realize that deviating from the right course when it comes to ethical matters is cause for alarm and harm.

The use of systematic method of inquiry has been found to prevail in data-based enquiries. Giving preference to a stakeholder because the same stakeholder is good at dishing out pleasantries to the person evaluating the program in which the stakeholder has a big stake is tantamount to hypocrisy and utterly outrageous in view of ethical considerations. Evaluators have to be on guard and be able to differentiate from what is good from what is unacceptable in scientific research. In the Western World, tremendous steps have been taken to keep researchers informed of their rights and responsibilities and the rights of participants partaking in research endeavors. There are guidelines, standards, and ethical procedures that have to be followed by every responsible evaluator willing to emerge victorious. Professional conduct and ethical conducts are guiding principles that set the stage for scientific research.  Clear and systematic scientific inquiry, competence, integrity or honesty, respect for people, and observance of general and public welfare are some of the evaluation standards, guidelines, and ethical procedures have been reserved for scientists to lean on for guidance. Systematic inquiry entails evaluators conduct themselves in a systematic manner by collecting data through data-based inquiries; competence means providing competent performance to stakeholders; integrity or honesty connotes observing the integrity of the whole evaluation processes and procedures; respect for people implies giving clients, stakeholders, participants, and respondents the respect they deserve; while responsibilities for general and public welfare requires evaluators take into account the diversity, values, and interests of the public.

Formative Evaluation
Evaluators are usually responsible for designing the type of evaluative methods to pursue before embarking on a project. This is done to ensure the evaluators have the right tools and resources for their proposed projects. Having the plan and expertise can be useful in setting the step that leads to the right course. In essence, formative evaluation, as the word ‘formative’ implies, sets the stage for program improvement and is an essential means to altering program performance (Lipsey et el., 2004). No matter the type of evaluation used, value, competence, and fair play have the propensity to produce collisions with contradictory information (Rosenblatt & Woodbridge, 2003).

In evaluative sciences, conflicts of interest may arise from the delivery of effective services. Data regarding efficacy usually require resource availability and intensity of training as resources may not be available to distinct sub-populations requiring intensive and costly programs. Stetler (2006) argues that formative evaluation is effective in system measurements and evaluations and useful in providing information related to implementation. Formative evaluation highlights the significance of imminent and substantial control on the enlargement, expansion, and value of performance endeavors.

Formative evaluation requires people having distinct listening skills and profound knowledge in its implementation. As such, formative evaluation enjoys a retinue of audiences that come from the top echelons of management and a spectrum of leaders in the higher hierarchy that include program formulators, providers of donor funds, and top brass. In any program, formative evaluations require effective timing and the generation of tangible results that lead to the making of immediate remarkable results.

Any time a program shows signs of stagnation and sluggishness resulting from poor management, decline of worker productivity, misinformation, and drop in general service delivery, formative evaluation may be used to steer it to the right direction and accelerate its general program activities. Steering a program to the right direction using formative evaluation requires the presence of stakeholders having authority to implement changes. Thus, stakeholder presence implies being available when needed most and being able to provide the most appealing ideas. Because of their considerable impact on an evaluation a lot can be achieved when stakeholders are present. The absence of stakeholders in an evaluation may retard program significance.

Summative Evaluation
Unlike formative evaluation, Summative evaluation has its own distinctive features. One thing that distinguishes it from formative evaluation is its use of summary judgment that emerges once the evaluation is concluded. According to Habicht, Victora, and Vaughn, (1999), to ensure a program is useful or favorable to society, summative evaluation may be used to transform, adjust, end, or develop a program. A summative program has to be able to deliver services that are worth the funding and cost with accountability being the foremost objective.

In Aristotelian thought, eudaimonia, a word with significant value in the outcome of an evaluation, refers to feelings that drive one towards self-realization in terms of instituting unique potentials of personality and exclusive principle in life (Waterman et al., 2008). Thus, eudaimonia in evaluation is geared toward attaining happiness or wellbeing (Hargreaves, 2001). For an institution to test the soundness of software, summative evaluation may be used to compute outcomes (Draper, 1997). The software can be determined if it is better performing than traditional teaching methods by posing the question: Is the educational courseware or learning project better in terms of validity than the conventional instruction or no software at all? To avoid future regrets and deter financial abuse, the usefulness, significance, and reliability of the software has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt before it can be put into effective use. Being mindful of what is to be expected and predicting product performance may help any inconsistencies that may evolve in the future as the project leaps forward to cover new grounds.

Program Theory
As Rossi, Lipsey, and Freeman (2011) contend, program theory is an explanation of what a program is composed of and what it is all about, its designs, its targeted effects, or what it struggles to accomplish in the end. In essence, program theory has advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of being referred to as action theory or outcome line, program theory generally defines what a program pursues, what its intentions are, and what it intends to achieve. In program theory building, Turnbull (2002) exposes the effectiveness of conceptual theory and action theory whose uses significantly enhance team management and team building by expanding team capacity, team cohesion, and team effectiveness. The characteristics of conceptual theory and action theory have been shown to improve information sharing, interdependence, decision implementation, goal setting, and increasing cooperation among teams. Both conceptual theory and action theory can be tested empirically as both are interdependent.

Program impact theory exists to identify expected outcomes. As service is delivered to a targeted population, program managers and the retinue of stakeholders expect an outcome that is advantageous to the demands of society. To develop a program theory, evaluators have to know how a program is expected to function; they have to have an implementation strategy for the program, and they have to give a description of the population that is the target of the program that is expected to serve its purpose.

In order to understand the intended impact of a program, there has to be goals and objectives that define its direction. A broad statement known as program goals and objectives typically states program intended accomplishments or expected goals. When activities are matched against stated objectives, program objectives are set forth in what is know as program activities. This gives the evaluator the tools to comprehending program expectations. Without clear identification of program activities, evaluators may be faced with many conflicting huddles that make their intended tasks impossible. A program theory should be put to use and made operational to make a study worthwhile (Sidani & Sechrest, 1999).

Use of Logic Models
The most important tool for empowering evaluators is the logic model. Logic models help evaluators organize their work projects by opening a way of connecting the dots during programming and that it involves a basic concept of following straightforward series of IF and THEN statements. For example, these statements that act like ordinary tools and deter evaluators from their intended pathways may be simplified as such:
IF you embark on a certain activity, THEN you expect to get assured yield.
           IF you succeed to seize that output, THEN you will experience positive outcomes.
           IF you obtain those outcomes, THEN you will see the expected results.
To get the expected results from the evaluation, the IF and THEN statements must be logical and produce consistent answers. An IF and THEN logical statements that can be used to alter the current status of the Kansas City Public Schools would be: IF we pursue teacher reeducation, infrastructure improvement, curriculum reevaluation, parent participation, and children’s health and safety standard elevation, we will expect teacher performance to improve, parent involvement to increase, and student grades to go up so as to be in par with national level. IF the school administration grasps the outputs aforementioned statements, THEN there will be little misconceptions from opponents. IF the above outcomes materialize, THEN the desired outcomes will be realized such that all stakeholders will feel impressed by the impact of the changes being reaped by the targeted population in the restructured educational system. Parents whose perception of the school district has been negative in the past will be tempted to relocate to their old residences and start enrolling their children afresh. A logic model will serve the purpose it is intended. However, the school district administration must avoid using too large or too small levels of analysis as this may impede evaluator’s success in finding the right solution to the school district’s demise. It is vital not to lose the visual connections in the IF and THEN statements and also avoid failing to think the usefulness of the logic model.

Stakeholder description
Stakeholders hold important positions and play significant roles in program operations (Rossi et el., 2004). Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations that have vital interests in how well a program operates. To avoid shocks and frustrations, evaluators have to keep in mind political intrusions that come in their operations during evaluations. Also, evaluators have to bear in mind how programs are put forward, set down, debated, legislated, and financed. Projects or programs that undergo evaluations are usually the handiworks of people in higher authority who continuously make follow up of operations and procedures. Failure to implement a program in the manner envisaged by an evaluation sponsor may result in hostility toward the evaluator.

An evaluation has to be in line with political processes and there has to be evaluative evidence that satisfies those having a stake in the evaluation program. Evaluators have to comprehend the political constraints and ramifications and resistance associated with program implementation and evaluation. It is good to outline program challenges, goals, and strategies to avoid being apprehended and splashed over editorial columns and newspaper headlines that may have negative political leanings. The Kansas City Public Schools has an amalgamation of stakeholders having stake in the school district operations, management, and organization. Each stakeholder is driven by a special interest that requires particular attention by someone within the school district. Failure to provide attention to the needs of one stakeholder could result in a gridlock that may cause handicaps to a particular department or division. It is imperative school administrators, teachers, and state officials work in concert to ensure all problems are solved amicably.

Stakeholder Analysis
Treating stakeholders equally must be upheld and given all considerations and due respect. There has to be to be enhanced communication between program administrators and people having business dealings with the school district despite some stakeholders enjoying higher degree of admiration and distinction than others because of the role they play and their place in the school district. The importance of stakeholders in a program is that they can provide noteworthy contributions and feedback and as well approve or disseminate a plan. In the Kansas City Public Schools, parents and administrators may be identified as part of the school district stakeholders. Parents of the school children may be dissuaded from sending their kids to school if the schools infrastructure is poor, if there is shortage of teaching facilities, if teacher-student ratio is out of proportion, if teachers lack adequate training and know-how, if management is disorganized and lacking working ethics, and if the general atmosphere is replete with factors that are not conducive to educational facilitation.

Often, stakeholders are driven by the idea that evaluations are beneficial to their cause and will ultimately tackle their needs and appear useful to them in due course (Rossi et al., 2004). Key stakeholders of the Kansas City Public Schools are the parents whose appraisal of evaluation instruments adds validity, the school administration board whose participation is vital as they appraise information requiring validation and verification during the evaluation process, the teachers who offer feedback, and the school administration that are empowered to settle on the nature of evaluation and anticipated outcome. It is crucial for the evaluator to be familiar with evaluation strategy and the stakeholder position. The Kansas City Public School administration has to know supplier concerns whose priorities are to increase business ventures with school district. While customers dealing with the school district focus on the nature of pricing and their rapport with school leaders, regulators are concerned with whether there is some of degree of effectiveness and observation of rules and regulations. As for the employees, their major concern is job security.  

Utilization Analysis and Utilization Procedures
Narrowing data allows the researcher to focus on identifiable specific research objectives. In the case study criteria, researchers use the units of analysis which allow the evaluator to put attention to particular objectives rather than having the mind on various points of concern that may not bear fruit in the future when concluding the syudy. A broader look at the Kansas City Public Schools, using quantitative data collection method, we could draw facts and figures that would allow the evaluator to analyze the success and failures of the various groups being studied. Comparison could be made with other school districts so as to determine program success. By using qualitative evaluations, evaluators could realize critical results that could be eventually explained to complement findings.

Applicable Design
Impact assessment, which is a pilot demonstration program that is commissioned at the stage of policy formulation, may be used to determine whether the intended effects can be achieved (Rossi et el., 2004). Impact assessment is noteworthy since it can be applied in the initial stages before experiencing broader coverage. Impact assessment is not only limited to projects getting off the ground but it can also be applied to ongoing programs. Key concepts in impact assessments include experimental and quasi-experimental research designs. There are broad variations between experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Evaluation of Kansas City Public Schools will include the use of various methods or strategies.

Program Process Evaluation and Monitoring
Understanding whether the program is reaching the target population and whether delivery of services is consistent program design specifications and appropriate standards are part of program process evaluation and monitoring. It is significant for the school district to note down the number of participants receiving services, whether those receiving services are part of the intended target, whether the services provided are adequate; whether there are participants, who are underrepresented, and whether the entire target population is aware of the program and the services rendered.

Research Strategy
A research strategy that would fit when evaluating the Kansas City Public Schools would be the explanatory research. An explanatory research is concerned with explaining social phenomena. Theories can be constructed to predict future behavior or events. It is the fastest way to produce a snowballing stream of knowledge in a field or discipline. A qualitative explanatory research is akin to quantitative exploratory research (McNabb, 2008). By making, predictions investigators can build up theories that can be used to conceive measurable controls over perceived events. The problems that brought down the Kansas City Public Schools are clearly related to human actions. Mismanagement, embezzlement of funds, disconnect between various stakeholders, parents unwillingness to cooperate with the teachers, teacher tardiness and student absence, poor infrastructure, lack of credible teaching gear, and outside interference may be attributed to the collapse of the once prestigious school district that was the envy of many in the nation. Even though the school district has undergone formal changes, still, there is room for further investigations to expose the names of those who caused the district-wide misappropriation of funds.

Data Collection and Incorporating Evaluation into the Program Design
Data collection in the qualitative method has to be in three component parts: data collection, interpreting and analyzing data, and communicating the data research findings to one or more of available communication media in a written version if possible (McNabb, 2008). When collecting qualitative data, the researcher has to participate in the group or activity, conduct individual or group interviews, make observations, and document existing cultural artifacts. Participating in group gatherings, observing social interrelationships unobtrusively, and collecting or gathering data such as video and audio tape recordings, and questioning subjects in structured and unstructured settings are part of qualitative data collections.

In collecting qualitative data, raw data that has been accumulating over a period of time is arranged in order so they can be analyzed according to substance, reliability, and validity. The system of reducing data, called conceptualization, allows the researcher to discard what is unnecessary and keep tangible material for future analysis. Interpreting qualitative data is used to interpret patterns and connections. Interpretation implies that the researcher draws conclusions from data that can be exposed. When a researcher uses graphic diagrams during data collection, factors like misconceptions, personal connections, interfaces, and relationships must be examined and described.

Utilization Analysis and Proposed Methods
School evaluations convey novel techniques and ideas that can be applied to remove obstructions and impediments to students’ learning abilities. Evaluations help remove misconceptions between various stakeholders having a stake in the evaluations of the school being evaluated. Whenever a program is found to be deviating from the right path and not in line with stakeholder expectations, meticulous evaluations could be devised to accelerate its overall structure. The absence of enhanced social interaction and good working relationships between the stakeholders and the evaluator in the Kansas City Public Schools could be a recipe for disaster. School counselors have the ability to overturn negative school operations and systemize departments that lack direction. Since they have been trained in distinct fields that focus on student performance elevation and transitioning into better prospects, they should be viewed with admiration and given the right tools to promote unproductive students performing dismally in statewide and nationally standardized tests.

Bryan (2005) contends that school counselors play central roles in rural or urban areas because they are able to by connect with the various stakeholders and create an environment that paves the way for superior student performance. An evaluator has to have a clear focus and a clear vision of program evaluation, generate crystal clear images of the amalgamation of the various stakeholders, and ensure objective reasoning before embarking on the difficult expedition of attempting such a philosophical and scientific experiment that is meant to transform the living conditions of a society yearning for total program modification and makeover.

At the time of designing of an evaluation, it is crucial to review the interests and concerns of the various stakeholders. Prominent people having a stake in the program who deserve to be put into consideration before undertaking the evaluation include the policymakers, owners and employers, official government representatives, officials from funding agencies, managers and directors, parents and teachers, and local agencies and local leaders. The Kansas City Public Schools management has to work on a strategy that will elevate student performances. New teaching techniques need to be included in the curriculum. Careful considerations must be given to the subjects kids lack devotion, concentration, and interest. If the problem is with math or science, then, the introduction of new facilities and expert teachers could be an added advantage. Parents should be encouraged to work with the kids to overcome the burdens of homework. Teachers and children should be given incentives to boost their confidence.

Hill (1998) believes that modernizing institutions is the responsibility of decision makers since they are known to possess the vital instruments and technical know-how to spearhead new programs. Institutions experiencing modernization require efficient reform and rational adaptation, bounded morality, intelligence, and power. The Kansas City School Public Schools has a superintendent and a deputy whose day to day activities include monitoring school programs and ensuring there exist harmonious working between the various stakeholders. The school district has nine boards of governors who are elected to four-year terms and their main responsibilities include governance, monitoring how finances are spent, educational development and evaluation, appointing of the chief administrator who is the superintendent of the school district, and managing facilities. During program process monitoring, program managers are required to update sponsors and funders the major activities that have been undertaken, how the programs fair in terms of implementation, huddles encountered, and if there are any future expectations that can be learned. The governing board enjoys a higher degree of diversity hence board members seem to be racially proportional. Its chair is Airick L. West, a man who has been blamed for undermining the leadership of the previous superintendent, John Covington, who resigned hastily last year (Sulzberger, 2011). Leaders must shun undermining each other for political gains.

Monitoring Service Utilization
The term coverage implies the level or extent of participation of participants and whether the intended target has been achieved while bias refers to the unequal or disproportional participation of the various sub-groups. When one sub-group participates more than others, there will be bias in the evaluation. The fruits of the evaluation must apply to all regardless of race, creed, color, sex or gender, political and religious affiliation, and finally, national identity (Rossi et al., 2004). Since the Kansas City School District serves communities from all parts of the world, it would be prudent to treat parents and their school children equally without making any distinctions. Even school enrollment should be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure every community enjoys equal representation, equal attention, and equal service.

Recommendations
The Kansas City Public Schools has many challenges ahead of it that will have to be tackled if the school district is to flourish in the academic world. The school district has to abide by the set down rules and regulations and ensure management is up to task and ready to work with all stakeholders. Factors that are dragging the school district away from the right path must be identified and rectified so that a repeat of past mistakes may be avoided for the present and for posterity. The program has to be monitored constantly without lapse and all wrongs occurring in the course of the processes set on a right path. Management and school district board have to work together so as to reach amicable solutions on their differences. Teachers must have rapport with parents so there can be an atmosphere of good working relations. There has to be accountability on how finances are spent. Management must set aside special days for stakeholders to present their concerns. A special ombudsman who will work with the superintendent and school board has to be employed to oversee problems that need special attention.

Conclusion
The school district decision makers did not do the right thing from the start to keep general school operations in line with the required standards, norms, and expectations and that is why loss of accreditation came to the fore. Lack of communication or miscommunication may be attributed to the protracted power jostling that engulfed top management. Management must work hard to bring overall school district functions into fruition. The conditions of school infrastructure has to be regulated, maintained, and given utmost attention.
Executive Summary of Evaluation

An evaluation of the Kansas City Public Schools discovered that there is great disconnect between management, teachers, parents, and state officials. The problem of losing accreditation-a problem that demanded scrutiny from the beginning-has long been neglected by state officials, school district administration, and teachers. Government officials failed to keep an eye on student falling grades, teacher retraining, and infrastructure renovation. All these problems required constant attention and that has not been the case. Millions of dollars have gone to waste due to lack of accountability and use of services that were inconsistent with modern school upkeep. It seems officials were interested in giving out contractual works to acquaintances and family members. The “do-it-your-own-way” attitude espoused by management resulted in departments deviating from school district guidelines. Other school districts’ refusal to admit students from the Kansas City Public Schools paved the way for many parents moving out of the district in search of better educational opportunities for their children.

The most burning questions that need to be addressed by school management and government officials are:
  • What services need to be adapted so that the school district can reach its objectives?
  • How effective are the school district functions since switching name?
If the school district is to expect student educational achievements to go up so that the district is in par with the rest of the nation, it would be relevant to introduce ground-breaking teaching methods. Little has been experienced so far regarding the effectiveness of the newly introduced services.

The Kansas City Public School management did not take the right action to overcome the aggravating and deteriorating school district conditions. Action was taken only when the court decided to intervene and refer state officials for drastic actions. Raising student scores in math and science and other subjects of concern should be considered with keen interest and given attention. In order to realize practical significance of program effects, there has to be a way of continuously monitoring teacher performances in the class. Teachers who fail to garner required test scores for their students must be retrained and provided with the right teaching aids so they can catch up with the rest. If all fails, any teacher found not improving student scores even after several trainings, may suspended and shown the door.

The evaluation methods used to understand changing trends being experienced by the Kansas City Public Schools have been summative and formative since the school district has been functioning before losing accreditation and that it is currently undergoing changes. The best way to keep in touch with staff and teachers is to educate them on the plan being executed, focus on the effects of local implications, and focus on the attention of the staff so that program goals can be met. When adopting the plan leader support must be support, implementation action team has to be established; implementation plan must be modified or developed; implementation changes must be monitored and small-scale changes implemented; then the implementation plan has to extended or changed for adoption; and finally institutionalization has to be adopted and accepted unanimously to avoid resistance. The political wrangling between the top leaders of the school district should not be used to undermine the smooth running of the various schools in the district.

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