A Guided Empowerment Self-Audit as a School Improvement StrategyReport as inadecuate

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Research in Higher Education Journal, v25 Sep 2014

No Child left Behind, The ESEA Flexibility Program, and the Race to the Top contest have spurred a multitude of School Improvement programs, businesses, initiatives and more. The current emphasis on standardized testing, data gathering and analysis, and measuring effective schooling has caused many education agencies, state and local, to seek evaluation services and to employ evaluation methods. A Guided Empowerment Self-Audit of any organization can reveal areas of concern that the organization can address to improve the effectiveness of the organization. The Guided Empowerment Self Evaluation approach is designed to help school communities monitor and evaluate their own performance while using indicators for School Improvement and School Turnaround. Anytime the people in the organization can be involved in a meaningful self-analysis and development of a plan of action, they are more apt to take ownership in the plan and carry it through to fruition. A Guided Empowerment Self-Audit Evaluation builds program capacity and fosters program improvement. It teaches people to help themselves by learning how to evaluate their own programs. Key concepts include: a critical friend, cycles of reflection and action, and a community of learners. The basic steps of empowerment evaluation include: 1) establishing a mission or unifying purpose; 2) taking stock--creating a baseline to measure growth and improvement; and 3) planning for the future--establishing goals and strategies to achieve objectives, as well as credible evidence to monitor change. The Guided Empowerment Self-Audit uses the Eleven Identified Indicators of Effective Schooling identified by an international evaluation firm. This research project was a comparison of Guided Empowerment Self-Audits performed by 8 schools to determine common areas of concern uncovered by the schools. One of the major areas of concern revealed by the Guided Empowerment Self-Audits was a disconnect between teachers' perceptions of the implementation of the Eleven Indicators of Effective Schooling and the school's student achievement data. Identifying barriers to success can aid any organization as it seeks to improve.

Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Empowerment, Audits (Verification), School Turnaround, Self Evaluation (Groups), Institutional Evaluation, Evaluation Methods, School Effectiveness, Educational Indicators, Capacity Building, Program Improvement, Reflection, Communities of Practice, Futures (of Society), Teacher Attitudes, Barriers, Academic Achievement, Educational Change, Change Strategies, Efficiency, Guides, Benchmarking, Interrater Reliability, Misconceptions, Documentation, Coaching (Performance), Standards, Parent Attitudes, Instructional Leadership

Publisher Info: Academic and Business Research Institute. 147 Medjool Trail, Ponte Vedra, FL 32081. Tel: 904-435-4330; e-mail: editorial.staff[at]aabri.com; Web site: http://www.aabri.com

Author: Smith, Charity Fleming; Goodwin, Debbie

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=435&id=EJ1055326

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