Successful organizations set goals and define steps to achieve them. In 2017, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) launched a five-year strategic plan to drive their mission to increase and improve quality educational opportunities for children by strengthening charter school authorizing. We partnered with NACSA to conduct an assessment of their current practices and needs related to building and maintaining a strong program evaluation infrastructure.
Our researchers analyzed NACSA’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, interviewed the executive leadership team and division heads, and conducted a gap analysis to identify areas where existing program evaluation practices could be improved to maximize effectiveness. Based on the gap analysis, we provided a set of recommendations for tool development, policies, practices, and staffing that can help NACSA achieve and measure the goals outlined in their strategic plan. We also devised a set of added opportunities to optimize NACSA’s evaluation practices.
NACSA is in the process of implementing organizational changes based on our recommendations, including hiring a Director of Program Evaluation and developing evaluation plans that describe how programs will be evaluated, when data will be available, and how results will be used to inform organizational decisions.