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A Guide for Reporting on Rigorous Evaluation for the US Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP): A User-Friendly Guide for MSP Project Officials and Evaluators


Document introduction: This is primarily a "how-to" guide for MSP state coordinators, project staff, and evaluators who are seeking clear, practical advice on how to report on evaluations they conduct. Before describing our recommendations for reporting on rigorous designs, in this section we 1) describe the evaluation requirements and recommendations of the MSP Program; 2) define criteria the MSP Program uses to determine whether an evaluation is considered "rigorous" and thus could yield scientifically valid results; and 3) explain the process for reviewing evaluations annually to see if they meet these criteria.
We recommend grantees and evaluators review this guide before conducting their evaluations in order to familiarize themselves with the process by which the evaluation will be reviewed, as well as to understand its logic and motivation. We expect this guide to also serve as a resource during the evaluation and while assembling the information to include in the annual performance reports (APRs) and evaluation reports. Lastly, we hope this guide will be useful for projects who are not yet ready to conduct a fully rigorous evaluation, but who would like to learn more about what such an evaluation requires or increase the rigor of their evaluation.
The criteria identify four key elements for assessing whether the MSP evaluations were conducted in a rigorous manner:
€ Attrition
€ Baseline Equivalence of Groups
€ Quality of Measurement Instruments
€ Relevant Statistics Reported