Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE) was
founded in 1975 as a coalition of major professional associations
concerned with the quality of evaluation. AEA is one of those
associations, and sends a representative to the Joint Committee. The
Joint Committee has developed a set of standards for the evaluation
of educational programs as reflected on this page. Although AEA has
not formally adopted these standards, it does support the Joint
In order to gain familiarity with the conceptual
and practical foundations of these standards and their applications
to extended cases, the JCSEE strongly encourages all evaluators and
evaluation users to read the complete book, available for purchase
SAGE and referenced as follows:
Yarbrough, D. B., Shulha, L. M., Hopson, R.
K., and Caruthers, F. A. (2011). The program evaluation
standards: A guide for evaluators and evaluation users (3rd
ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
The standard names and statements, as reproduced
below, are under copyright to the JCSEE and are approved as an
American National Standard. Permission is freely given for
stakeholders to use them for educational and scholarly purposes with
attribution to the JCSEE. Authors wishing to reproduce the standard
names and standard statements with attribution to the JCSEE may do
so after notifying the JCSEE of the specific publication or
The utility standards are intended to increase the
extent to which program stakeholders find evaluation processes and
products valuable in meeting their needs.
U1 Evaluator Credibility
Evaluations should be conducted by qualified people who establish
and maintain credibility in the evaluation context.
U2 Attention to Stakeholders Evaluations should
devote attention to the full range of individuals and groups
invested in the program and affected by its evaluation.
U3 Negotiated Purposes Evaluation purposes should
be identified and continually negotiated based on the needs of
U4 Explicit Values Evaluations should clarify and
specify the individual and cultural values underpinning purposes,
processes, and judgments.
U5 Relevant Information Evaluation information
should serve the identified and emergent needs of stakeholders.
U6 Meaningful Processes and Products Evaluations
should construct activities, descriptions, and judgments in ways
that encourage participants to rediscover, reinterpret, or revise
their understandings and behaviors.
U7 Timely and Appropriate Communicating and Reporting
Evaluations should attend to the continuing information
needs of their multiple audiences.
U8 Concern for Consequences and Influence
Evaluations should promote responsible and adaptive use while
guarding against unintended negative consequences and misuse.
The feasibility standards are intended to increase
evaluation effectiveness and efficiency.
F1 Project Management
Evaluations should use effective project management
F2 Practical Procedures Evaluation procedures
should be practical and responsive to the way the program operates.
F3 Contextual Viability Evaluations should
recognize, monitor, and balance the cultural and
political interests and needs of individuals and groups.
F4 Resource Use Evaluations should use resources
effectively and efficiently.
The propriety standards support what is proper,
fair, legal, right and just in evaluations.
P1 Responsive and Inclusive Orientation
Evaluations should be responsive to
stakeholders and their communities.
P2 Formal Agreements Evaluation agreements should
be negotiated to make obligations explicit and take into account the
needs, expectations, and cultural contexts of clients and other
P3 Human Rights and Respect Evaluations should be
designed and conducted to protect human and legal rights and
maintain the dignity of participants and other stakeholders.
P4 Clarity and Fairness Evaluations should be
understandable and fair in addressing stakeholder needs and
P5 Transparency and Disclosure Evaluations should
provide complete descriptions of findings, limitations, and
conclusions to all stakeholders, unless doing so would violate legal
and propriety obligations.
P6 Conflicts of Interests Evaluations should openly
and honestly identify and address real or perceived conflicts of
interests that may compromise the evaluation.
P7 Fiscal Responsibility Evaluations should account
for all expended resources and comply with sound fiscal procedures
The accuracy standards are intended to increase
the dependability and truthfulness of evaluation representations,
propositions, and findings, especially those that support
interpretations and judgments about quality.
A1 Justified Conclusions and Decisions
Evaluation conclusions and decisions
should be explicitly justified in the cultures and contexts where
they have consequences.
A2 Valid Information Evaluation information should
serve the intended purposes and support valid interpretations.
A3 Reliable Information Evaluation procedures
should yield sufficiently dependable and consistent information for
the intended uses.
A4 Explicit Program and Context Descriptions
Evaluations should document programs and their contexts with
appropriate detail and scope for the evaluation purposes.
A5 Information Management Evaluations should employ
systematic information collection, review, verification, and storage
A6 Sound Designs and Analyses Evaluations should
employ technically adequate designs and analyses that are
appropriate for the evaluation purposes.
A7 Explicit Evaluation Reasoning Evaluation
reasoning leading from information and analyses to findings,
interpretations, conclusions, and judgments should be clearly and
A8 Communication and Reporting Evaluation
communications should have adequate scope and guard against
misconceptions, biases, distortions, and errors.
The evaluation accountability standards encourage
adequate documentation of evaluations and a metaevaluative
perspective focused on improvement and accountability for evaluation
processes and products.
E1 Evaluation Documentation
Evaluations should fully document their
negotiated purposes and implemented designs, procedures, data, and
E2 Internal Metaevaluation Evaluators should use
these and other applicable standards to examine the accountability
of the evaluation design, procedures employed, information
collected, and outcomes.
E3 External Metaevaluation Program evaluation
sponsors, clients, evaluators, and other stakeholders should
encourage the conduct of external metaevaluations using these and
other applicable standards.