News 11/13/2010

WRMA Presents on SPARK and Ready Kids Follow-up at 2010 AEA Conference

WRMA presented "Evaluating Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) & Ready Kids Follow-up (RKF): Embracing and informing truth, beauty, and justice" at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). The conference, whose theme was Evaluation Quality, was held in San Antonio, Texas on November 10-13.

The panel described the evaluation process from SPARK to Ready Kids Follow-up. SPARK was a nation-wide school readiness initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, while RKF examines school success for students enrolled in the SPARK programs. Panel members included WRMA's Patrick A. Curtis, Ph.D., the Initiative Level Evaluator for SPARK and Principal Investigator for RKF, in addition to local evaluators from Hawaii, New Mexico, and Ohio. The panel discussed how the evaluation process evolved from individual designs using different measures for SPARK to adopting common measures across sites for RKF. The panel described the opportunities gained/lost from SPARK to RKF as well as challenges pertaining to evaluating programs with divergent designs in culturally complex communities.

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