The VCOE Department of Research and Evaluation provides program evaluations and other applied educational research services. Our services are available on a cost-recovery basis to Ventura County school districts as well as to organizational units within VCOE. This arrangement allows decision-makers in local districts and agencies to purchase whatever research support services they need, when they need them, without having to incur the costs of maintaining an in-house research office or hiring a for-profit contractor.
Services provided by the VCOE Department of Research and Evaluation are:
- Program evaluations
- Analysis of school testing data
- Survey development, administration, scanning, and analysis
- School data consultation and support
Program evaluation activities account for approximately 70% of our workload. The primary objective of such evaluations is to help stakeholders understand the effects of particular programs within schools so they will be better able to design and deliver improved services in the future. Most of these evaluations occur in response to grant requirements for an evaluation component to help program staff and the funding agency determine if the program is meeting implementation and outcome goals. A primary focus of these evaluations is to provide understandable and useful information that can be collected with minimal program disruption and shared in a timely and meaningful manner. Comprehensive program evaluations typically cost about 5-7% of the total grant award.
The VCOE Department of Research and Evaluation has skills in both quantitative and qualitative techniques, including survey development, survey analysis, complex data analysis, focus group and interview techniques, and observational data collection strategies. VCOE R & E has been involved in the evaluation of a variety of grant programs including Smaller Learning Communities, Tobacco Use Prevention Education programs, school nutrition programs, and various Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities grants.
In addition to grant evaluation, VCOE R & E provides consultation and support to local educators, government and community-based agencies, and community members to assist in the understanding and analysis of local school data including student demographics, school staffing patterns, school performance, and school test scores. Much of this consultation is focused on the results of the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program and the Adequate Yearly Progress component of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.