To excel, schools must embrace continuous school improvement and evaluation, as well as systems thinking. In Measuring What We Do in Schools, author Victoria L. Bernhardt details the critical role program evaluation serves in school success and how to implement meaningful evaluations that make a difference. She provides a roadmap of how to conduct comprehensive, systemwide evaluations of programs and processes; the tools needed to obtain usable, pertinent information; and how to use these data to expand teachers' and administrators' data-informed decision-making focus.
Although challenging for many schools, program evaluation and data analysis can begin with a single program or process, over time building on the expanded knowledge of the school's processes and the results they produce. An effective tool-The Program Evaluation Tool-enables schools to easily identify the purpose and intended outcomes of any school program, along with whom it serves, and how it should be implemented, monitored, and evaluated. These data can then be used to improve every aspect of a school's programs and processes and the outcomes achieved.