2020 State Standard of Excellence
6. Evaluation Leadership
Did the governor’s office or any state agency have a senior staff member(s) with the authority, staff, and budget to evaluate its major programs and inform policy decisions affecting them? (Example: Chief Evaluation Officer)
Evaluation leadership positions are an important tool for state governments to ensure that evidence of what works is a primary consideration when making programmatic and budget decisions.
Founded in 2019, Tennessee’s Office of Evidence and Impact is led by the state’s Director of Evidence and Impact. To propagate Tennessee’s evidence-based budgeting efforts, the Office defined four tiers of evidence, conducted program inventories, developed evidence reviews, and provided evidence-building technical assistance.
A 2019 Alabama law created the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services, which catalogues and evaluates public services statewide. The Commission, comprised of state legislators and governor’s office staff, determines the effectiveness of public services in order to make informed funding recommendations for state leaders.
The Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting reviews and scores agency budget requests based upon their level of evidence and evaluation to inform priority policy and budget decisions. The office also maintains a $500,000 annual fund for program evaluation and implementation grants.
The Connecticut State Department of Education’s Office of Performance is led by a Chief Performance Officer, who is responsible for using data, evaluation, research, and technology to improve student outcomes. The Chief Performance Officer maintains the department’s data collection, assessment, information technology, reporting, research, and accountability activities, including the management of its performance dashboard, EdSight. The Office also hosts an annual Performance Matters Forum, which focuses on performance, continuous improvement, research, and evaluation topics.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Planning and Research is led by a Chief Strategy and Research Officer who is responsible for improving the use of data and research findings to influence policy and program decision-making. The Chief Strategy and Research Officer monitors progress towards the Department’s goal of preparing all students for success after high school, along with the other five priorities detailed in the department’s strategic plan. The position oversees all activities related to research, performance management, research partnerships, and strategic planning.
The Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Research and Development is led by a Director charged with using data and research to improve student outcomes across the state. Guided by a Dynamic Research Framework, the Office of Research and Development, the Office uses a longitudinal data system to evaluate the effectiveness of programs in areas such as Early Learning.
The Director of the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Research, Evaluation and Advanced Analytics enables educational leaders across the state to recognize, gather, analyze, evaluate, and leverage data in problem solving to improve student outcomes. Initiatives such as Empowered by Evidence and Ohio’s Evidence-Based Clearinghouse are designed to foster “a culture of continuous learning… [and to] create the framework and processes needed for actionable research.” The Department has partnered with the Ohio Education Research Center to share education data across the state.