I would like to think that the world is a better place than it was 50 years ago. In many ways I suppose it is; I wish that were true in all ways.

Human rights were violated in the name of religious freedom in Indiana last week (not to mention the other 19 states which have Religious Freedom Restoration Act). “The statute shows every sign of having been carefully designed to put new obstacles in the path of equality; and it has been publicly sold with deceptive claims that it is ‘nothing new’.” (Thank you, Garrett Epps). Then there are the those states which follow the Hobby Lobby ruling, a different set.

The eve of Passover is Friday (which also happens to be Good Friday). Passover vegetrian passover (or Pesach) is a celebration commemorating the Israelites freedom from slavery imposed by ancient Egypt. Putting an orange on the Seder plate helps remember that liberation specifically the liberation of the marginalized.

Passover is the only holiday that celebrates human rights and individual freedoms.

Does anyone else see the irony with this Indiana law?

This is an evaluation issue. How can you make a difference if you restrict liberation (like the recently passed Indiana law)? What is the merit, the worth, the value of restriction? I don’t think there is any.

my two cents.


Today is the middle of Spring Break at Oregon State University.

What did you do today that involved thinking evaluatively?

Did you decide to go to work?work-clip art

Did you decide to go to the beach?oregon beach

Did you decide you were sick?sick clip art

Did you decide you would work in the yard/garden?garden clip art

Did you decide to stop and smell the roses?smell the roses Continue reading

How many of you are planning on attending the American Evaluation Association (AEA)AEA logo conference in Chicago this November? AEA just closed its call for proposals on Monday, March 16. Hopefully, you were able to submit prior to the deadline. Notifications of acceptance will be announced in July. It is a lot of work to review those proposals, schedule those proposals, and make sure that there is a balance of topics and presentation types across the week.

I hope anyone (everyone) interested in program evaluation and all the evaluation permutations (of which there are many) will make an effort to attend. I plan to be there.

AEA is my professional home. The first meeting I attended was in 1981 in Austin, Texas. I was a graduate student; several of us drove from Tucson to Austin.(Let me tell you West-TexasWest Texas west-texas-desert is quite an experience; certainly a bucket list opportunity.) That meeting was a combined meeting of the Evaluation Research Society and Evaluation Network. It had about 200 attendees. Quite a difference from meetings experienced in the 21st century. AEA (the name and the organization) became official with the vote of the membership in 1986. Who would have thought that AEA would be the leading evaluation association in the country, possibly in the world? The membership page says that there are members who come from 60 foreign countries. I have met marvelous folks there. I count some of my best friends as AEA members. Certainly the landscape of attendees has changed regularly over the years. For a founding member, that evolution has been interesting to watch. As a board member and as a past-president (among other roles), being part of the organizational change has been exciting. I urge you to attend; I urge you to get involved.

Hope to see you in Chicago in November.


If you haven’t taken the my survey, please do. It is found here.

my two cents.


A recent blog (not mine) talked about the client’s evaluation use.evaluation cycle and use The author says that she feels “…successful…if the client is using the data…” This statement allowed me to stop and pause and think about data use. The author continues with the comment about the difference between “…facilitating the client’s understanding of the data in order to create plans and telling the client exactly what the data means and what to do with it.”

I work with Extension professionals who may or may not understand the methodology, the data analysis, or the results. How does one communicate with Extension professionals who may be experts in their content area (cereal crops, nutrition, aging, invasive species) and know little about the survey on which they worked? Is my best guess (not knowing the content area) a good guess? Do Extension professionals really use the evaluation findings?  If I suggest that the findings could say this, or suggest that the findings could say that, am I preventing a learning opportunity from happening? Continue reading

This is a link to an editorial in Basic and Applied Social PsychologyBasic and applied social psychology cover. It says that inferential statistics are no longer allowed by authors in the journal.

“What?”, you ask. Does that have anything to do with evaluation? Yes and no. Most of my readers will not publish here. They will publish in evaluation journals (of which there are many) or if they are Extension professionals, they will publish in the Journal of Extension.JoE logo And as far as I know, BASP is the only journal which has established an outright ban on inferential statistics. So evaluation journals and JoE still accept inferential statistics.

Still–if one journal can ban the use, can others?

What exactly does that mean–no inferential statistics? The journal editors define this ban as as “…the null hypothesis significance testing procedure is invalid and thus authors would be not required to perform it.” That means that authors will remove all references to  p-values, t-values, F-values, or any reference to statements about significant difference (or lack thereof) prior to publication. The editors go on to discuss the use of confidence intervals (No) and Bayesian methods (case-by case) and what inferential statistical procedures are required by the journal. Continue reading