Abstract This study researched the continued practice of evaluation capacity building (ECB) in an educational context, specifically the special education department of a large Midwestern school district. This descriptive and exploratory study studied the activities, processes, and outcomes of ECB that followed King’s case study (2002) fifteen years later. The Two-County School District was very large (e.g., geography, number of schools, student enrollment) and, as a result, had extensive resources for ECB, which included access to evaluation experts and data tools for sophisticated data use. The breadth and depth of the resources in this large school district put them in a positive place, where the Director of Special Education and other special education evaluation champions did the work of ECB, using the expanded and modified program evaluation model and process that Campbell initiated in 1999 to 2001. Galles, the district’s evaluation leader since 2007, contributed to ECB as the district’s highly skilled evaluation leader. Her evaluation leadership and expertise as well as the technical assistance from the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment positively supported the special education department’s ECB projects. Taylor, the Director of Special Education (2009 – 2013), and several special education evaluation champions demonstrated a strong ECB vision and commitment to achieve change and improve the quality of special education programs. An evaluation leader, committed evaluation champions at multiple levels, dedicated resources, and clear communication are critical to lead and sustain ECB efforts.
University of Minnesota D.Ed. dissertation. June 2016. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Jean King. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 258 pages.
Sterner Sampers, Camille.
Evaluation Capacity Building Towards Developing a Special Education System in a Large Midwestern School District.
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