Respond to at least two colleagues by offering critiques of their analyses. Identify strengths in their analyses and strategies for presenting evaluation results to others. Identify ways your colleagues might improve their presentations. Identify potential needs or questions of the audience that they may not have considered. Provide an additional strategy for overcoming the obstacles or challenges in communicating the content of the evaluation reports.
RESPONSES NEED TO BE BACKED BY RESEARCH.
Most evaluation reports will need to include some background information before discussing the evaluation findings (Dudley, 2020). Most stakeholders will want to be reminded about the purpose of the evaluation, the evaluation questions, the types of people studied, and the methods (Dudley, 2020). The discussed program focuses on improving academics and school-related outcomes of maltreated children (Mallett, 2012). When children experience neglect or abuse, it can decrease their academic performance by influencing their learning ability through decreasing cognitive and language capacities (Mallett, 2012). The children also have an "increased risk for special education disabilities" and decreased standardized testing outcomes (Mallett, 2012). On average, maltreated students in elementary school are half a year behind nonmaltreated students in academic performance (Mallett, 2012). In high school, maltreated children are three or four grade levels below nonmaltreated children's reading level (Mallett, 2012). Children in any grade level that has been maltreated have a significantly increased chance of repeating at least one grade level (Mallett, 2012).
The program provides a consistent adult that provides home-based tutoring and mentoring services (Mallett, 2012). The adult is also a certified teacher (Mallett, 2012). The mentor meets with the child one to four hours a week based on the child's needs (Mallett, 2012). The program's goal is for each child to be instilled with the ability to understand schoolwork and experience school success (Mallett, 2012). Along with teaching study habits and routines to follow in the home, providing a consistent, interested person to the child and family, and advocating when additional special services like special education are needed (Mallett, 2012). The data collection methods were Woodcock Johnson III Assessment, grade point averages, and special disability identification and services (Mallett, 2012). The Woodcock Johnson III Assessment measures skills in reading, mathematics, writing, necessary oral language abilities, and academic knowledge (Mallett, 2012). The children completed that assessment once a year. The grade point average was calculated using the child's writing, math, and reading grades converted to a 4.0 grade point scale (Mallett, 2012). The special education disabilities were determined by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, which provides different special education classifications (Mallett, 2012). If this program was responsible for the initial identification and subsequential access to special education services through the school system, this was then measured and counted toward one of the program goals (Mallett, 2012).
The participants enrolled in the program are in grades kindergarten to 12th (Mallett, 2012). Based on the Woodcock Johnson Assessment, participants enrolled in the program for a year increased their grade level equivalent by half a year (Mallett, 2012). However, at the end of 2 years of enrollment in the program, the participants had gained almost two grade levels, indicating they gained over one whole grade level in the second year (Mallett, 2012). On average, the participants enrolled in the study are one academic year behind others their age, meaning that they are now caught up with their peers based on the data collected from the Woodcock Johnson Assessment (Mallett, 2012). When the grade point average for participants was examined, the program assisted in raising it by approximately 0.2 each year (Mallett, 2012). Based on advocacy efforts, 19% of the participants were identified to have a special education disability which is much higher than the public-school norm of between 4% to 9% of students (Mallett, 2012).
Strategies to meet colleagues' interests and goals.
The people being presented in the program evaluation are social workers that are colleagues. Based on the people being presented with the evaluation, the primary format for the report would be a special report, and the dissemination strategy would be at a staff workshop (Dudley, 2020). A special report is a brief summary presented in an informal context (Dudley, 2020). When the program evaluation findings are interpreted, they should be developed to align with the needs of various stakeholders and consumers (Dudley, 2020). When the evaluation report is presented to staff members, they are most interested in how the report will affect them and their role as practitioners and the specific areas of the report that directly involve staff (Dudley, 2020). When presenting the maltreated children program evaluation to colleagues, the focus would be on the intervention components of the program, which is going to the child's home as much as appropriate to assist with school assignments. That is so the social workers would be able to implement the program. Also, it would be stated whether the program was effective or not. How the program was determined to be effective would not be discussed in great detail. That is because they are only interested and how the report will affect them in their roles as a practitioner. Which stating how the program was determined to be effective will not directly affect their roles as a practitioner. I would also focus on how this program could be implemented at their agency and could address a problem that their client population is currently facing.
Identify questions that colleagues might have
With a group design chosen, it must be determined to what extent it can be claimed that the intervention and not something else had a positive impact on the outcome variable, referred to as internal validity (Dudley, 2020). Similarly, the extent to which the impact on the outcomes can be generalized to additional client groups in other settings has to be determined, referred to as external validity. Reading over the findings several times can help detect many of these issues. A question that a colleague could ask is about external and internal validity. Based on the group research design that did not include a control or compassion group, there is no way to know if the positive outcome was accomplished because of the intervention or not (Dudley, 2020). Also, based on the research design chosen limits the ability to generalize the findings to others with similar characteristics with confidence (Dudley, 2020). A question that could be asked is about internal and external validity. The reply would be that this specific research design lacks validity, which is a limitation of the chosen research design.
Most of the data provided was from the Woodcock Johnson Assessment (Mallett, 2012). However, three different assessment types were done (Mallett, 2012). So, a question that may be asked is why the data gathered from the Woodcock Johnson Assessment was discussed in great detail while the other two assessments were barely addressed. A response could be discussing how that is a limitation of the study that only a small amount of data was reported from the other data collection methods.
Dudley, J. R. (2020). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do (3rd ed.) Oxford University Press.
Mallett, C. A. (2012). The school success program: Improving maltreated children's academic and school-related outcomes. Children & Schools, 34(1), 13-26. https://doi.org/10.1093/cs/cdr004
Presenting the Evaluation
I chose to use the evaluation article titled, Necessary, But Not Sufficient: The McKinney-Vento Act and Academic Achievement in North Carolina. I also decided to take the perspective of my colleagues being staff members of the school district. I would prefer to hold an informal presentation to my colleagues to inform them of the evaluation results. Staff gatherings are excellent venues for discussing most evaluation findings (Dudley, 2020). The presentation could be done at their place of work in a staff meeting or virtually through a screen-sharing app like Zoom.
Background and Key Information
A well-designed evaluation report will include some essential information. One of the crucial elements is background information on the evaluation, such as the concepts of the problem under evaluation (Dudley, 2020). In this evaluation, researchers are trying to discover if the funding provided by the McKinney-Vento act is assisting with the education of homeless students as intended. My presentation should discuss why stakeholders believed this evaluation was necessary (Dudley. 2020).
Consumers of the presented findings will also need to know how the problem is being addressed, the causes of the problem, and the perspective on how to solve the problem (Dudley, 2020). It will be necessary to address why the McKinney-Vento Act was created to make this clarification. Essential parts of this dialogue include who the target population is, why this population needs assistance, and how the Act is supposed to assist them (Dudley, 2020).
Mental health clinicians are trained to use evidence-based interventions (Dudley, 2020). Likewise, they will value proof that the information they are receiving is evidence-based. An evaluation report should explain how the methodology was sound (Dudley, 2020). In this evaluation, researchers discussed the methodology and reasoning in addition to the study’s implications and limitations (Hendricks & Barkley, 2012). One such limitation was that the evaluation was only done in one state and may have made more contributions if other states had been studied (Hendricks & Barkley, 2012).
Other efforts should include meeting the interests and needs of my colleagues. Presenters can use visual aids, such as charts and graphs to highlight and summarize essential findings and appeal to visual learners (Dudley, 2020). I could use a bar graph to portray the testing scores of homeless students before attending McKinney Vento supported schools, during, and after. I could also use a pie chart to show where the funds from the McKinney-Vento Act are sent and other pie charts to show what activities each school implemented with the funds.
Questions and Reactions
My colleagues will likely be saddened by the news that the funds from the McKinney-Vento Act did not positively affect the education of homeless students as intended. They will surely want to know what the funds were used for to better understand why they may have failed to make a difference. Since each state can use 25% of the funding for state-determined use rather than sending it directly to the school districts (U.S. Department of Education, 2021), I would want to do further research to find out what our state did with those funds specifically. Additionally, my colleagues and staff members may be interested in how the report's findings will affect them in their roles (Dudley, 2020). I would want to prepare to answer this question by speaking with program administrators and supervisors to see how the findings could affect their program goals and tasks.
Dudley, J. R. (2020). Social work evaluation: Enhancing what we do (3rd ed.) Oxford University Press.
Hendricks, G., & Barkley, W. (2012). Necessary, But Not Sufficient: The McKinney-Vento Act and Academic Achievement in North Carolina. Children & Schools, 34(3), 179-185.
U.S. Department of Education. (2021). Department of education releases $600 million in American rescue funds to support students experiencing homelessness. https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-education-releases-600-million-american-rescue-plan%E2%80%AFfunds-support-students-experiencing-homelessness
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