LET’S GO’s mission is: “Break the Cycle of Poverty through STEM Education and Workforce Development”. It is important to us to provide evidence of our mission success.
The LET’S GO team invests considerable resources in program evaluation for three reasons:
• Continuous improvement. We believe in the adage: “What gets measured, gets managed”. We use data to make decisions how to continuously improve every element of our integrated program.
• Accountability. We want to be accountable to our funders and partners. We report outputs (quantity of services delivered) and outcomes (changes being made by our beneficiaries resulting from our services) to provide evidence of mission success.
• Intrinsic reward. LET’S GO team members feel rewarded when we have evidence that our students are advancing along their Pathway to Success.
LET’S GO has developed a Theory of Change Logic Model and a set of indicators of success. The outcomes associated with each of the change steps are measurable in the immediate term (1 to 3 years), intermediate term (4 to 7 years), and long term (beyond 8 years). We collect and analyze student data, after we have received signed parental consent, using our student data base. With this data we test our multiple hypotheses associated with our Theory of Change for our own program. We also research the literature base to ascertain what other evaluators have found in programs related to poverty and equity in education.
In the LET GO Logic model, we have thought through a series of “if/then” statements associated with outcomes that can be measured and reported in each of these three time frames. The importance of each of the pairs of connected change steps (numbered boxes in our Logic Model) can be described in terms of a hypothesis. When each of the 13 hypotheses are tested and found to be true as stated, we will have proved the truth of our overall theory that we can help underserved youth break out of generational poverty through STEM education and workforce development. Our 15 principle hypotheses are stated as follows. Note that we initiate this discussion from Step 3 (box 3 of the logic model).
LET’S GO wants to understand: How true is the relationship between each step of our logic model? How valid is our overall Theory of Change? Can LET’S GO really help break the cycle of poverty through STEM education and workforce development one student and one family at a time?
We have asked our stakeholders to quantify their level of confidence in our organization’s ability to enable our students to make each of the changes laid out in our Theory of Change Logic Model. For each hypothesis respondents rate their level of confidence in the statement from +5 (Absolutely Confident) to -5 (Extremely Doubtful).
Simultaneously with our big picture thinking, LET’S GO holds itself accountable to students, partners, funders and our team as a whole, to deliver on our mission and be able to report how we are accomplishing this mission. To learn about our evaluation process, click here.