The evaluation team at Ray.Taylor and Associates strives to both prove the efficacy of an initiative and to provide information, recommendations and insight to improve the initiative. To improve an initiative one must look deeply at the full system and the processes as they are actually designed and implemented. This article is motivated by two types of work performed by Ray.Taylor and Associates; work with school districts facing academic or financial distress, frequently both,and our work in program evaluation. Both types of services lead to a similar route of inquiry. In fact, our work in fiscal and academic improvement for school systems is a hybrid of the skills and methodology applied to program evaluation. When systems fail the root to failure can often be seen threaded throughout the system of processes that make up the organization. In short, consistently successful outcomes are based in well-designed systems implemented with fidelity.
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