EdVisions Launches Comprehensive Evaluation Plan
The comprehensive evaluation plan (ECAP) is designed to encapsulate a wide variety of data from past EdVisions sites that have been proven models. This is to provide data that can be aggregated and correlated by researchers. This data can provide statistical proof that the EdVisions model helps young people develop dispositions, habits and skills that make them successful in life.
The components of school growth to be collected, aggregated and researched will be: engagement and hope via the EdVisions Hope Survey; basic skills from growth model test scores, such as NWEA’s Measure of Academic Progress; life skills, specifically Self-Directed Learning and Collaboration, two skills needed for a successful life and delivered by our model; and the number of graduates accepted into or attending college/technical training. We are hoping to develop a progression map of student development to replace graduation rates. Collecting and aggregating this data requires time and effort from the sites, and they are to be commended for taking on this prodigious task.
The sites that have been asked to become advisory members of a task force, and asked subsequently to become partner sites, are: EdVisions Off Campus; Avalon; High School for Recording Arts; Minnesota New Country School; Valley New School; Northwest Passage; and Escuela Verde. There are degrees of participation; schools can participate in the evaluation plan; they can participate as cadre members and provide 5 days of training for us; and they can allow immersion/site visits. Each of these levels of participation can earn the site a stipend.
We also are seeking to include more diverse sites to provide evaluation data. As we develop new sites, their data will be added to subsequent research efforts.
We have been fortunate to have two experts help us define and refine the evaluation plan. Mike Tillman, an expert in authentic assessment, and Scott Wurdinger, an expert in experiential learning, have helped develop the evaluation program. They will be available to provide staff development for existing and newly developed schools, as well as help define research parameters.
The rationale for the ECAP is to provide data that serves our school clients and our mission well. State department data, whether it is Minnesota or other states, does not showcase what really happens in schools using the EdVisions principles. Having a network of data makes a stronger voice than if each school was attempting to tell their own story. Also important is that with correlative data we can prove our design affects dispositional hope and raises engagement, which correlate to all other measures of success. And finally, proving EdVisions design elements, hope, life skills, and academic skills are correlated will be of immense importance for education as it evolves over the next quarter-century. EdVisions can again be a central figure in the discussion of “what works” in education.