IS QUALITY ASSESSMENT FALLING SHORT? FOCUSING ON RESULTS IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

DR. ROMEO SANTOS

There is always a big gap separating program implementation and performance, as there is between learning and practice. Policy and decision makers, as well as school administrators, would acknowledge that benefits derived from educational interventions are dependent on how best the gap between the two is made close. This idea applies regardless of the fields the intervention programs are designed for –Education, Social Protection, Environment, and Governance, among others.

The presentation will show how interventions, such as educational policies, programs, and initiatives can apply the principles of RBME (Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation), including the ‘Theory of Change’ concept, for making the evaluation focused more on Results (or Outcomes). It will argue that while Quality Assessment and Accreditation Systems are important, these are not geared primarily towards determining the desired results. There is need to adopt new paradigms of measurement that can enable true determination of performance and success of interventions.

The presentation will challenge the wisdom of conventional quality assessment and present a cross-walk of various paradigms currently in use. It will also demonstrate through sample cases, graphical illustrations, and logical arguments the shortcomings of traditional approaches and methods used in evaluations. It will draw lessons about soundness and the need to strengthen evaluation for better applicability.

The theoretical and methodological perspectives brought forth in the study may initiate reflection on the design and implementation of the country’s educational policies and programs, and suggest areas where improvement can be done. The lessons learned can have far reaching significance to policy and decision makers, administrators, and educators alike.