Monthly Archives: September 2017

Scholars Practitioners as Program Evaluators

 

 

Lorraine Cook decided to take her program through accreditation after she joined

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1995 (Laureate

Education, 2016a). She wanted the national recognition and evidence that they were an

excellent organization from an outside source (Laureate Education, 2016a). Cook was

able to co-chair in a government program for New Jersey (Laureate Education, 2016a).

New Jersey was able to get the five percent increase in subsidies reimbursement for

accredited centers (Laureate Education, 2016a). Listening to the stories of early

childhood professionals who took the next step in making sure they had quality

education for their staff, the children and themselves was inspiring yet for me daunting.

I am a fearless educator and advocate for making sure that all children get a quality

education. I do not particularly care for being over other adults who may or may not

share the same aspirations as myself. Being a program evaluator can cause great friends

or major enemies. If the center and staff are willing to embrace changes and can be

flexible to change, then checking for quality, making sure program interventions match

the purpose of the program, and the curriculum that engaged all stakeholders would be

an easy feat.

Unfortunately, like Cook spoke on, I also believe not all centers are going for

accreditation even with extra incentives in place. They do not want a program evaluator

to come in and be a part of their center. Their comfort zone would be compromised.

People who have been in the field for a long time may not want to change their way of

thinking or doing things. I think this is the first class that is interesting to me as

understanding what a program evaluator does but not fully understanding the role and

not so ready to jump in as an evaluator. I can be more proactive in ensuring quality

environment and instruction for all children taking on a perspective of a program

evaluator in my school as a teacher, not necessary an administrator after the class is

over.

One question I would have since I learned that some of the leaders no longer teach in

a classroom, is how do you still relate to teachers? At first being a program evaluator

could mean you can connect because you were just fresh out the classroom and you

understand the hardships teachers face and can come up with easy ways to meet

standards, ideas for quality instruction, and environment. My problem would be after

years of stepping out of the classroom how easy is it to impact the classroom and stay in

touch with all stakeholders, from parents, teachers, principals, students and the list can

go on. I have a deputy superintendent of our school system. She is out in her six-inch

heels daily walking into someone’s school building. Dr. Griffin stays in touch and then

comes back to tell them suggestions on how to meet the needs of their students. She

evaluates them on rigor, school climate and culture, and academics. Schools who hate to

see her coming are those who may do just enough to get by and may not be offering the

highest quality of education. Those who love to see her come invite her to the school to

see how they are implementing a strategy that will enhance quality instruction and

environment. If I had to step out of the classroom, I would want to be a program

evaluator like her. If I stay a teacher which is what I want to do, I could be a leader in the

sense of impacting through peer collaborations, teaching workshops at local conferences

on what to look for in a quality education program, or be on boards or committees

outside of school time to impact childcare in the same lines as Lorraine Cook did to help

out New Jersey.

Reference

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016a). NAYEC accreditation [Audio file]. Baltimore, MD:

Author.