Discrepancy Evaluation Model Of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Public Schools

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Malcolm Provus developed his Discrepancy Evaluation Model (DEM) in 1969 during his evaluation assignments of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania public schools. Inspired by Roger Tyler’s objective-oriented method of program evaluation, Provus went on to refine his own. He considered discrepancies to be a crucial clue in program evaluation; they point out differences that exist between what the program managers think is occurring and what is indeed occurring. Provus defined evaluation as “the process of agreeing upon program standards, determining whether a discrepancy exists between some aspect of the program and the standards governing that aspect of the program, and then using the discrepancy information to identify weaknesses in the program.” He believed that the purpose of an evaluation was to determine whether to improve, maintain or terminate a program (Ahmad, 2011). The DEM is a "continuous information-management process, a set of problem-solving procedures that seek to identify weaknesses, according to selected standards, and to take corrective actions", with the final resort being the termination of the entire program. In his model, the process of evaluation involves moving through stages and content categories in such a way as to facilitate a comparison of program performance with standards (Marsh, 2001). In his model he identifies four specific developmental stages with a fifth, optional stage: 1) program definition, 2) program installation, 3) program process, 4)

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