Program Evaluation

Evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of your district's initiatives

Our Perspective

In-depth analysis reveals what works to raise student achievement

As budgets shrink, districts need to know which programs, strategies, and efforts are raising achievement and which are not. Determining what is working, for which students, and at what cost, is easier said than done. While data is not always readily available, measurement is possible and worth the effort. With good information in hand, districts can proactively allocate scarce resources to activities that best meet the needs of students.

Our Approach

DMGroup’s rigorous approach to evaluating programs helps you understand the academic impact of your programs and compare to your district’s goals using our Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) methodology. A-ROI is both a mindset and a set of specific, highly-structured practices that bring greater precision to decisions and build broader buy-in by knowing what works, for which students, at what fully-loaded program cost. Armed with this information, districts are well-equipped to fine tune their efforts and shift resources to what works best, ultimately raising achievement and reducing costs.

  • Analyze what does the most good and for whom, with segmented analysis based on granular review of students with common educational needs
  • Quantify and measure fully-loaded program costs, which include direct program costs as well as the cost of staff time and other costs of delivering services
  • Identify if programs are effective for some segments of students but not others so that you can strategically target services to align with students’ specific needs
  • Clarify which programs are an ineffective use of funds and make plans to redirect resources to more effective initiatives

Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) involves the analysis and interplay of three components: student segments, student outcomes, and fully-loaded costs.

Key Benefits

Know what’s working, for which students, and at what cost

  • Ensure a rigorous data-based review of program effectiveness through a lens that puts academic impact at the center of analysis.
  • Gain clarity about who benefits, by how much and at what cost.
  • Deliver targeted services, with greater precision, to students with specific needs
  • Improve academic outcomes through expansion of the most effective programs
  • Align your district’s programs and initiatives to support specific district goals

Consulting Services

Evaluate the impact and cost effectiveness of your programs

Consulting Service

Initiative Inventory

Develop a centralized and systematic inventory of all the initiatives within a school or a district to gain visibility into the range of current programs, where they are being used, and what data is currently available on costs and outcomes.

Consulting Service

Elementary Literacy Review

Conduct a systematic review of elementary reading and literacy practices within a school or across the district to gain a thorough understanding of how well current practices match best practices, where inequities exist across classrooms and schools, and where opportunities exist to improve and expand reading services.

Consulting Service

Program Evaluation

Conduct a program evaluation that studies the effectiveness and impact of a current initiative to determine how well it’s working as compared to district-identified goals and expectations. Our analysis will also review resources invested, including both staff time and dollars, to gain a full understanding of both the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program or initiative.

Gather Data

We begin our program evaluation with a detailed review of historical data the district has available on academic results for program participants and/or by establishing baselines and a new system for measuring academic impact going forward.

Define Segments

Identify student segments that provide the best and most appropriate groupings for comparative impact analysis. Typically, this means grouping students on the basis of educational need rather than on the basis of more conveniently available demographic segments.

Measure Results

Using the available district data or data gathered as a result of setting up a new measurement system, we’ll analyze the effectiveness of the program for the agreed student segments, providing a rich set of data to support informed decision making.

Report Findings

A summary of the analysis provides district leaders with a balanced, impartial review of impact. Depending on agreed objectives laid out at the outset of the project, the report of findings may include a focused comparison of impact with district goals for the program, or it may include a broader analysis of impact and cost-effectiveness as compared to other district programs or as compared to best practice benchmarks.

PD & Consulting Service

A-ROI Support and Capacity Building

Develop systems and capacity for evaluating programs using our Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) approach. For this service, DMGroup combines professional development with support in conducting an actual program analysis using our A-ROI approach.

Build Capacity

We’ll provide professional development training, delivered at timed intervals and supported with coaching, to enable deep learning and skill development.

Plan A-ROI Analysis

With a group of district leaders working together over a period of time, you’ll identify the programs to evaluate and develop your own models for A-ROI analysis, supported with our expert coaching.

Learn by Doing

Our experts work directly with your team to help them overcome obstacles, meet milestones, and complete a program analysis. District leaders learn by doing, completing an analysis and developing an A-ROI mindset that helps make the most effective use of limited resources.

Professional Development

A-ROI Institute Training Program

Learn More

Come together with a group of school districts for deep-dive training on the Academic Return on Investment approach and process. The year-long A-ROI Institute training program involves three days of in-person training with a group of districts, along with ongoing virtual support, access to A-ROI tools and resources, and individualized district coaching from DMGroup. By the end of the program, you’ll have learned our ten-step A-ROI process, applied this process to a real problem in your district, and leave with your own completed A-ROI analysis.

Looking for Professional Development?

We can provide customized professional development programs for your district leaders to develop an Academic-Return-on-Investment (AROI) and build capacity for program evaluation. Customized professional development programs can include coaching, workshops for your leadership team, and retreat facilitation for your cabinet and/or school board.

View our Programs

We saw a need for something to be done for us to better understand the differences between buildings, between grade levels, and how our resources weren’t hitting the target. This reading evaluation gave us the cultural leverage we needed internally to move things a little more quickly and comprehensively.

Dan Hoverman, Former Superintendent,
Mounds View Public Schools (MN)

Interested in something more specifically tailored to meet your needs?

DMGroup can provide custom-tailored support to help your school district in the area of program evaluation. If you have a unique need, reach out to let us know how we can help you.