March 16, 2012
This study addresses validity issues in evaluation that stem from Ernest R. House’s book, Evaluating With Validity. The authors examine American Journal of Evaluation articles from 1980 to 2010 that report the results of policy and program evaluations. The authors classify these evaluations according to House’s “major approaches” typology (Systems Analysis, Behavioral Objectives, Decision making, Goal-free, Professional Review, Art Criticism, Quasi-legal, and Case Study) and the types of validity (measurement, design, interpretation, use) the evaluations consider. Analyzing the intersection of evaluation type and validity type, the authors explore the status of House’s standards of Truth, Beauty, and Justice in evaluation practice.