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Ethical Issues of Program Evaluation

Gilbert (1992) has also addressed the problem of institutional program evaluation research being influenced by extraneous organizations and by political issues. In particular, Gilbert states that the integrity of program evaluations conducted in academic institutions should not be compromised in the conflict between the scientific community, public agencies, and legislators over oversight of federally funded projects. She asserts that integrity can best be protected through prevention of abuse in researcher recruitment and training and through partnership between faculty and public agencies.

English (1997) reports that a good deal of program evaluation research is directed toward evaluating a program specifically designed for a particular target group, e.g., fifth graders, managers, soccer moms, and so forth. In much of this kind of research, English reports, the target group consists of minorities. It is noted that in certain situations, methodological procedures can sometimes place these groups, already disadvantaged in society, in increased jeopardy. That is, certain methods involved in data collection can have negative psychoemotional or psychosocial consequences for the target group. To overcome this ethical problem, English recommends that target groups should be called upon to participate in evaluation research only as cooperative partners throughout the entire evaluation.

An excellent example of the problematic aspects of program evaluation that violates concerns with respect to specific groups concerns standardized testing. According to Mathison (1991), the evaluation of curricular change as a result of state-mandated standardized testing was conducted using a sample of fourth grade science program students in New York. An indepth exploration of the effects of the program was said to show that it made no provisions for the consequences of testing for different students, that methods obviated obviates caring behavi...

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Ethical Issues of Program Evaluation. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:35, July 20, 2017, from
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