An individual might choose to perform a school evaluation when he or she wants to know about the quality of instructors, pedagogical approaches, and programs and policies offered by a school. Whether you are a concerned parent, active community member, or participant in local government, your first step in performing a school evaluation should be to determine what you want to know. If your main concern is the quality of athletic and arts programs, you can find out how much funding a school gets for these programs and how active students in these programs are. Individuals who are concerned with how much students are learning can look at standardized test results or study curricula.
In many cases, sitting in on a class can be a very good way to begin a school evaluation. This is an opportunity to learn firsthand how instructors communicate with students. It also is a good way to learn about the general atmosphere of a school. A parent who is considering sending his or her child to a school first should speak with a principal or school representative to gain permission to observe classes.
A parent who does get the chance to observe classes to perform a school evaluation should make note of the general atmosphere of classes. He or she should notice how engaged students seem. While it is common for at least one or two students to appear bored or tired during class, a majority should be interested in what an instructor is saying. Pay careful attention to how an instructor communicates with students and how often he or she asks students to participate in class exercises.
An aspiring college student who would like to perform a school evaluation has a number of resources at his or her disposal. Periodicals commonly release school rankings based on factors such as selectivity, funding, and job placement after graduation. Individuals who are interested in studying areas of specialization might want to check trade publications and reports generated by related professional organizations.
Another great tip for performing a school evaluation is to conduct interviews. It is helpful to speak to faculty members of a school to get a better sense of teaching styles and core principles and values. Many individuals find that speaking to current students can be a great way to learn about the effectiveness of educational techniques. Aspiring college students can benefit from talking to graduates who have been in the workforce for several years.