Before you launch into Public Achievement, think about how you can use evaluation to answer specific questions about Public Achievement at your site. On going evaluation can provide information that is useful and practical.
Here are some questions to consider as you think about planning evaluation.
- What do you want to learn about Public Achievement during the year?
- Was there anything you wish you knew about Public Achievement last year but didn’t ask? How might those questions be answered this year?
- Who wants the information? Are there stakeholders who might be interested in learning something specific about Public Achievement?
- What resources are available to carry out the evaluation?
- How will your site team carry out evaluation?
- How can you ensure the results will be used?
- How will you share the information with the site, Center for Democracy and Citizenship and the Public Achievement forum?
Everyone can do evaluation. It can be as simple as asking, “What happened today and how could we do things differently?” or more complex, like “What skills do students demonstrate after participating in Public Achievement?” Your evaluation plan depends on what you want from the evaluation and the resources you have to carry it out. The ultimate goal of evaluating Public Achievement is to strengthen the work and deepen the learning.
There is an excellent evaluation tool that the Center for Democracy and Citizenship has developed for site teams. It is called, “Year End Self Evaluation Packet.” If you used the tool last year, re-visit it to see how you responded to the questions. The results from last year can help you plan the coming year. If you did not use the tool last year, read through the tool before you get started. It can help stimulate ideas for planning your evaluation for this year.
Download the site team self evaluation packet on this page
You may want to structure your evaluation plan around certain events like the issue convention, mid-year point and end of the year. Your site team should come up with an evaluation plan that is realistic and useful to your site. Identify someone on your site team to head up the evaluation or take turns leading the effort. Make a plan to share the results with your school, site and community.