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Westat’s Evaluation of the SIG Program: Findings from the Leadership Study

Westat’s Evaluation of the SIG Program: Findings from the Leadership Study

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Westat’s Evaluation of the SIG Program: Findings from the Leadership Study

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  1. Westat’s Evaluation of the SIG Program:Findings from the Leadership Study Alison Langham, Westat AlisonLangham@westat.com Presentation to the SIGnetwork SPDG Directors’ Session April 16, 2010 Project Funded by: Office of Special Education Programs U.S. Department of Education AlisonLangham@westat.com

  2. Presentation Outline • Overview of the SIG Program • Overview of Westat’s Evaluation of the SIG Program • Brief explanation of the Leadership Study • Results from the Leadership Study • Summary and implications AlisonLangham@westat.com

  3. Background on the State Improvement (SIG) Program • IDEA ‘97 • Joint effort of the feds and states to improve results for children with disabilities • Money to states on a competitive basis • Professional development, information dissemination, TA…SYSTEMIC CHANGE AlisonLangham@westat.com

  4. Background on the SIG Program Evaluation • Commissioned by OSEP in 2000 • Five-year cooperative agreement, that continued for six years • Formative • Focused on the overall SIG Program, not individual states—but individual SIG projects were the unit of analysis • Not intended to provide technical assistance to projects • Instead, intended to describe what states were doing to inform OSEP, and the states themselves AlisonLangham@westat.com

  5. Background on the SIG Program Evaluation • Premises of the SIG Program that guided our evaluation • Systems change is necessary to effect significant statewide improvements • Improving systems requires comprehensive planning that involves multiple individuals, agencies, and institutions • SEAs need to play a leadership role in engaging partners and bringing about the systems changes AlisonLangham@westat.com

  6. Background on the SIG Program Evaluation • Multiple evaluation activities • Logic Models • Cross-state comparisons • Systemic Evaluation Inquiry Model • Model of Theory of Systemic Change • Outcomes Study • Administrative Leadership Study AlisonLangham@westat.com

  7. Administrative Leadership Study: Framework AlisonLangham@westat.com

  8. Administrative Leadership Study: Methodology • Nine states • Iterative data collection and analysis • Telephone interviews and document reviews • Qualitative coding AlisonLangham@westat.com

  9. Administrative Leadership Study: Results • Influence • Persuasion • Guidance • Authority • Use of position or title • Control of funds • Accountability • Setting expectations • Establishing standards of performance AlisonLangham@westat.com

  10. Administrative Leadership Study: Results • Influence Strategies Strategy A: Implementing professional development (PD) as a systemic tool for change Strategy B: Communicating a vision of change Strategy C: Creating local buy-in Strategy D: Integrating PD efforts with general education reform Strategy E: Using collaborative working partnerships that promote joint learning AlisonLangham@westat.com

  11. Administrative Leadership Study: Results AlisonLangham@westat.com

  12. Administrative Leadership Study: Results • Authority Strategies Strategy F: Asserting delegated authority Strategy G: Setting direction Strategy H: Justifying actions by evoking a higher authority Strategy I: Providing support for partners and subgrantees who buy-in AlisonLangham@westat.com

  13. Administrative Leadership Study: Results AlisonLangham@westat.com

  14. Administrative Leadership Study: Results • Accountability Strategies Strategy J: Standardizing the evaluation methodology Strategy K:Prioritizing the tasks associated with accountability Strategy L:Using accountability data to justify changes in project AlisonLangham@westat.com

  15. Administrative Leadership Study: Results AlisonLangham@westat.com

  16. Administrative Leadership Study: Summary and Implications Administrative Leadership Study Findings: • Every SIG director used multiple leadership strategies • SIG directors used influence strategies most and accountability strategies least • Awareness of self, Project/Program, current events and culture influenced which strategies SIG directors used AlisonLangham@westat.com

  17. Administrative Leadership Study: Summary and Implications Levels of Awareness AlisonLangham@westat.com

  18. Administrative Leadership Study: Summary and Implications • Most important SIG Evaluation finding: strong leadership coincided with strong SIG project outcomes • Implication: leadership will matter in SPDG projects, too AlisonLangham@westat.com