A Field test of the Fortune/Hutchinson evaluation methodology as it could be employed in the evaluation of National Urban League street academies [thesis]

Gene Mason Gordon
The concept of evaluation as used in education has been inextricably bound to the concepts of accreditation, assessment, judgement and others. A recent definition which is gaining increasing acceptance and which separates evaluation from other concerns is that its purpose is to provide information for decision-making. Despite the formulation of a purpose, evaluation has not taken its place in the scientific study of education because it has not been provided with a methodology. The Fortune
more » ... hinson Evaluation Methodology was designed to fill the gap created by the absense of evaluation methodologies. Its purpose is in keeping with the new definition. A methodology is a systematic, standardized, operationalized set of rules and procedures designed to accomplish a defined purpose. The Fortune /Hutchinson Methodology has been inspected and proven to be operationalizable , practical and desirable. These criteria are set forth in a procedure known as Metamethodology, the purpose of which is to act as a procedure from which a xvii methodology can be derived. In addition, Metamethodology requires that a methodology be subjected to a field test prior to its acceptance as complete. The purpose of this thesis is to perform a field test of the Fortune/Hutchinson Methodology. The Hartford Street Academy provided a field setting with the potential for causing a rigorous test of the Methodology in that if it was found to work in this setting, it would be defensible to assume that it would also work in less distant settings. The setting is distant in that those who designed the Methodology did not specifically address themselves to Street Academies. The setting does fall, however, within the general class of problems to which the Methodology should be applicable. This study of the Fortune /Hutchinson Methodology constitutes the first empirical field test performed with respect to identifying those weaknesses and problems which are associated with the Methodology. The nature of the discrepancies between the expectations of the Methodology and the actual results are reported as well as suggestions for eliminating those discrepancies. A fact of particular interest is that the Methodology achieved its purpose of providing information for decision-making although the data was not used by the time of the final preparation of the thesis. In the sense that several weaknesses were identified, the field test proved to be a highly successful proposition. xviii The major cause was lack of cooperation. Difficulty was encountered with the terminology and the attention to detail of the Methodology. All Phases were completed for the first priority decision-maker and information was provided to that decisionmaker. The information is scheduled for use in the near future. This thesis contains the results of each Phase of the Methodology, interpretations of the results and recommendations for further research. Finally, two appendices are provided. One furnishes the complete steps of the Methodology as developed to date while the other is the field test log. xix CHAPTER I The appropriateness of the focus of the evaluation entails the listing of all information used and not used. The two categories of information may then be placed in a matrix with respect to the priorities of the decisions themselves. There should be a high positive relationship between the priorities of decisions and whether or not data were provided. A small or negative relationship reveals lack of appropriate focus. CHAPTER III DESIGN AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE FIELD TEST The field test actually began on Monday, March 13, 1972. By Tuesday, March 21, 1972, the Negotiation of the Contract had been completed and on Monday, March 27, the Goals Process began. The Goals Process lasted until April 3, 1972. The Parts Process took just two days, April 5 and 6, and was only performed for the first priority decision maker. From Friday, April 7, when the operationalization of Goals began, the field test was interrupted and did not begin again until Friday, June 30. Operationalization was again performed on July 3 with a surrogate decision-maker between that data and August 1. Observational Techniques were designed on August 1 and data collection was performed on Friday, August 4. A more detailed discussion of the time required to perform the field test is contained in Appendix B, "The Field Test Log." CHAPTER IV RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION
doi:10.7275/d73b-e287 fatcat:svfybafjpzbedgvtz4tqvwgamy