Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Research Questions

What is Involved in Teaching?
How can Teacher Education Help?
How Can Professional Development Help?
How Can Policy Help?
How Can Research Help?
How can we Improve Research?

Research Projects

Teacher Qualifications and the Quality of Teaching
Class Acts
Research and Teacher Learning
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning
Teacher Education and Learning to Teach
Local Uses of Evidence
Evaluations of Federal Programs


Michigan State University
College of Education
Graduate Program in Teacher Education
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning



Prior to joining Michigan State, I was involved in a lot of program evaluation work, particuarly in the evaluation of Federal education programs. These papers are a small sample of that work.

Birman, B. F. and Kennedy, M. M. (1989). The politics of the national assessment of chapter 1. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 8(4), 613-632.

Describes the politics related to the National Evaluation of Chapter 1, a Congressionally-mandated study aimed at providing Congress with evidence that would facilitate its next re-authorization of this this long-standing Federal program.

Kennedy, M. M. (1984). The problem of defining the problem. Evaluation Review, 8, 713-725.

Describes difficulties of trying to rely on extant data bases to understand a dynamic system and to project into the future. Uses an example of estimating potential teacher shortages.

Kennedy, M. M. (1981). Assumptions and estimates of evaluation utility. Educational Researcher, 10(10), 6-9; 26.

Critiques a congressionally-mandated study of local program evaluations. Argues that evaluation practices need to be sensitive to their political contexts and can't impose excessive rationality on their audiences.

Kennedy, M. M. (1978) Findings from the Follow Through Planned Variation Study. Educational Researcher, 7(6), 3-11.

Describes findings from the Follow Through Planned Variation Study, a 10-year multi-million dollar project comparing different pedagogical theories. Each program served childen from kindergarten to third grade, and the evaluation focused in differences in student outcomes across educational models.

Kennedy, M. M. (1977) The Follow Through Program. Curriculum Inquiry, 7(3), 183-208)

Describes the process by which curricular models were developed and implemented during the life of the Follow Through Planned Variation Study.