A CASE STUDY OF THE ATTEMPTS TO DEVELOP AND EVALUATE PROGRAM OBJECTIVES IN AN IOWA AREA EDUCATION AGENCY DIVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
Tetzloff, Philip G.
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The problem: The basic problem examined by the study was the development and evaluation of the program objectives of an approved annual plan to provide special education services in Area Education Agency 6. Current federal and state audits of AEA special education programs focused on compliance procedures, not on program objectives. Procedures: The study was conducted by the coordinator of the evaluation efforts at AEA 6 and was reported as a case study. The case study was organized in a chronological sequence from Year One through Year Six. The study is a narrative description of the effects of the actions of the administrative team on the evaluation process. The case study details the efforts of the administrative team to develop an annual plan which contained objectives with specific performance levels. As part of this effort, a stratified random sample of students identified as handicapped was used to select the records to be reviewed. The review of records was done to provide evidence of the pro vision of services. Findings and Recommendations: The approved annual plan developed in AEA 6 contained too many objectives with no specific performance levels. The expected levels of performance were met in fewer than one-half of the program objectives. Further study of the use of a prediction method to develop criteria levels for special education program objectives at an AEA is recommended. Special educators should also study the single subject multiple baseline design and its application to program evaluation.