New York State Education Department Validation
“State Education Department Validation” is an evaluation process in which a panel of volunteers reviews the effectiveness of an educational program. The purpose of the review is to examine the evidence submitted to substantiate the claims of effectiveness made for the program. If the evidence is convincing that the program caused the changes described, the validation panel will recommend validation for the program.
How does a Program become NYS Ed. Validated?
The process is initiated with submission of an application for validation to the State Education Department. The application must contain a description of the program and the context in which it has been developed, claims for effectiveness, a description of the target group, a summary of the evaluation evidence, and an appendix with curriculum samples and locally developed evaluation instruments. Information related to implementation of the program, such as management requirements, cost of training, special materials needed for program implementation and the type of technical assistance the applicant is willing to provide the adopting district also needs to be included.
Who and what is the Validation Panel?
Validation panel members represent school boards, PTA’s, school administrators, curriculum specialists, evaluation specialists, and professional unions. The panel is convened to review the program over the course of one full day, and the panel may visit the program. The applicant supplements the written documents with an oral presentation, and answers questions about the program implementation and evaluation. At the end of the review, the panel will formulate and announce its recommendation. In cases where the recommendation is for less than full validation, the panel will provide technical assistance by indicating what changes to the documentation need to be made in their judgment.
Specifically, the panel reviews the evidence for each claim submitted in the application. Important aspects are the evaluation design, validity and reliability of the instruments used to collect data, the process of scoring and aggregating data from individuals to groups, analytical techniques, the magnitude of changes brought about by the intervention, and if the changes were likely to be caused by the program. THE GAINS REALIZED BY THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM MUST BE EDUCATIONALLY MEANINGFUL. When statistical analyses are provided (e.g. t-tests, analysis of variance), the size of the effect should be reported and be at least 1/3 of a standard deviation.
How do I know if a Program is Validated?
When a program is validated, a Certificate of Validation is awarded, a letter of commendation is awarded to the chief executive officer of the agency. The State Education Department becomes an advocate for validated programs, and actively participates in their dissemination through its Sharing Successful Programs initiative. Statistics show that validated programs which are adopted are four times more likely to be successful and cost a local agency less to implement.