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Evaluation Services

In addition to the REL evaluation activities, Evaluation and Quality Control staff members provide program evaluation services to the region—school districts, state education agencies, and local partnerships—through contracted arrangements. Since its inception, SERVE has conducted numerous evaluative studies on educational initiatives important to the region. This work represents a wide-range of areas, including reading, technology, early childhood, mathematics and science, total quality management, school to work, and site-based management. SERVE staff members have a history of providing consultative assistance to states across all its program areas. Expertise is drawn from within the SERVE organization, the Comprehensive Center Network, Regional Educational Laboratories, research centers, and district and school-based reading efforts. In the area of reading, SERVE has provided southeastern departments of education with research-based materials, critiques of grant proposals, reviews of the literature, examinations of proposed state reading initiatives, and evaluations of state language arts/reading tests.


As a result of this wide-ranging experience, SERVE staff has developed many different types of data collection instruments and evaluation designs. These instruments have included attitudinal surveys, needs assessments, and focus group and nominal group protocols. Evaluation designs have included strong emphases on qualitative methodologies, such as case studies, and quantitative methodologies, such as quasi-experimental and longitudinal designs. Among many others, the following are examples of evaluations SERVE is conducting or has recently conducted:

Evaluation of the Competent Assessment of Reading

SERVE REL R&D Initiative—This was an evaluation of a resource that contains activities for professional developers to use in training teachers that link improving reading through the classroom assessment process.

Evaluation of Advancing Reading Achievement (ARA)

SERVE REL R&D Initiative—This was an evaluation of a SERVE R&D project that focuses on how to help schools engage teachers in translating reading research into practices at the elementary and middle school levels utilizing the SERVE document Advancing Reading Achievement.

Aligning the Curriculum to Standards in Pennsylvania (ACTS in PA), Statewide Evaluation of a Reading, Mathematics, and Literacy Pre-Service and In-service Professional Development Teacher Quality Enhancement Initiative (ongoing)

Four Education Councils in Pennsylvania have been provided financial resources through a Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant for three years and are providing professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers related to Pennsylvania math, reading, writing, and literacy academic standards. The ultimate goals are to align K–16 instruction more closely to the Pennsylvania academic standards and to improve student achievement.

Evaluation of the Direct Instruction Reading Initiative, Duval County, Florida

The evaluation focus was on quantitative analysis of test scores to assess the impacts of a Direct Instruction Reading Program.

Evaluation of the Roanoke Rapids (North Carolina) and Hale County (Alabama) Teaching American History Projects (ongoing)

Evaluation staff is providing evaluation services to two separately funded Teaching American History projects designed to increase high school teachers’ understanding and appreciation of the power of traditional American history both in 10th and 11th grade with the ultimate goal to enhance teachers’ capacity to improve instruction and raise student achievement in this critical subject area.

21st Century Learning Center Evaluations: Edgecombe County (North Carolina); Chattooga County (Georgia); Roanoke Rapids (North Carolina)

Evaluations staff is conducting two separate federally funded 21st Century grants. The purpose of the 21st Century Program is to provide quality after-school programs to rural and inner-city children.

Richland Two (South Carolina) Tutoring Program Evaluation

Evaluations staff is conducting an assessment of the effectiveness of a tutoring program implemented in Richland County School District Two (South Carolina) designed to help students maintain a mandated grade requirement for participation in extracurricular activities.

Third-party Evaluation of the Integration of Vocational and Academic Learning Richmond County (North Carolina) Schools Tech Prep Associate Degree Program

Evaluations staff conducted a multiyear evaluation of the district’s Tech Prep Associate Degree Program and National Dissemination Site (NDE) efforts.

Third-Party Evaluation of the Cherokee (North Carolina) Central Schools

This was an evaluation of the district’s School-to-Work initiative that included teacher interviews of their perceptions of the School-to-Work initiative and barriers to workforce preparedness for Cherokee students.

School-to-Work JobReady Evaluation Template and User’s Manual, State of North Carolina

Evaluations staff developed JobReady Evaluation Template and User’s Manual for the State of North Carolina Department of Commerce, School-to-Work Office, and conducted training sessions for JobReady partnerships across the state of North Carolina on the use of the Evaluation Template and User’s Manual.


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