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Standards-Based and Responsive Evaluation

Standards-Based and Responsive Evaluation

Edited by:

January 2004 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Written by a master writer and evaluator, this text explores the many conceptual choices an evaluator needs to make--from attention to stakeholders, to weighing ethical risks, to writing a useful report--when doing an evaluation. The book begins with the main strategic choices an evaluator needs to make between approaches: quantitatively,by explicating criteria, needs, standards, and performances, or, qualitatively, by studying the activity, aspirations, problems, and accomplishments of the participants and critical observers. Throughout the book, the author presents evaluation as a series of choices for the reader. He leads audiences to consider whether they would prefer to remain independent as evaluators or to join with a staff and/or stakeholders connected to the program; to aid in development formatively or to assess the whole program summatively; to invest minimally or largely in trying out and validating data gathering procedures; and how much to support professional associations, their standards, and ethics. After reading the book, students will have a better appreciation of evaluation as a process that needs to be custom-fit to the situation.
First Words
1. Criterial and Interpretive Evaluation
The Ubiquitous Search For Quality


Criterial and Episodic Thinking

Roles and Styles of Evaluation

Formative and Summative Evaluation

The Evaluand

The Evaluator

2. Roles, Models, and Dispositions



3. Standards-Based Evaluation



Criteria and Standards for Comparisons

Needs Assessment



Representations of Performance

What Goes Wrong

4. Responsive Evaluation
Issues as Conceptual Structure

Observations and Judgments


Combining Responsive and Standards-Based Evaluation

Experience as Knowledge

Organizing and Reporting


What Goes Wrong

5. Data Gathering
Choosing Data Sources


Recipient Responses

Staff and Management Responses

Stakeholder and Public Responses

Data Coding and Records Processing


Observation Schedules


Histories and Artifacts

6. Analysis, Synthesis, and Meta-evaluation


Experiential and Probative Inferences


An Ethic of Continuous Self-Challenge

7.Clients, Stakeholders, Beneficiaries and Readers
Participatory Evaluation



Democratic Evaluation

Negotiation of a Contract

Writing Reports

Styles of Reporting

Representations of the Evaluand

Names and Labels

Cutting Edge

Offering Recommendations

8. Issues Needing Interpretation

Program Standardization

Program Fairness
Staff Development

9. Evidence-Based Evaluation
Is Evaluation Science?

Petite and Grand Generalizations

Policy Evaluation


Skepticism as a Commitment

10. Doing It Right
Quality Work Is Ethical Work

Personal Standards

Professional Standards

Human Subjects Protection

Confidentiality and Anonymity

The Business of Evaluation

Personnel Evaluation

Product Evaluation

Political and Cultural Contexts

Last Words
About the Author

We can be grateful that Dr. Stake decided to cap his distinguished career by sharing his ideas in writing. This is a book that evaluators will want to have in their personal library. It tells us a lot about our field, highlights contrasting ways of evaluating without pitting one against the other, and manages to remind us why many of us chose this line of work in the first place.


Offers a critical and participatory perspective on Program Evaluation

Professor Roderick J Watts
Psychology Program, City Univ Of New York Grad Ctr
August 19, 2015

I think my students will love this book because it is very pratical and adresses all the essential aspects of conducting an evaluation. This counts for the web appendix as well

Professor Frans Janssens
Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Twente University
September 20, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Stake Appendix

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761926658

ISBN: 9780761926641

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