New York State Even Start Family Literacy


Online Guide for Administrators


Program Evaluation and Accountability - Questions and Answers

Q6-1: What are the reporting requirements for Even Start Family Literacy?

To maintain funding, Even Start Family Literacy programs are required to submit an interim report, typically due at the end of January, and Documentation for Continued Funding, which is due July 15. In addition, programs are required to submit a copy of their local evaluation by August 15.

The interim report and Documentation for Continued Funding are based on the System of Performance Indicators developed by the New York State Education Department. The indicators highlight participant outcomes in the areas of adult education, early childhood education, and parenting education. When reporting, programs are requested to analyze the participant outcomes, identify areas for improvement, and describe the steps that will be taken to improve the outcomes for families. 

The data required for the reports is maintained in ES-Star, a management program. Data entered in ES-Star includes:

  • program information such as staffing, support services, and instructional hours offered

  • family information such as names, demographics, hours of participation, and assessment scores. 

For more information:

Performance Indicator Manual

New York State Documentation for Continued Funding for FY 2005-2006

Performance Indicator Content Mentors


Q6-2: What is ES-Star? Who do I contact for technical support?

ES-Star is a web-based data management tool used to record program and participant information. For technical support, contact Nick Patrone at (716)557-2960 or via email at .


Q6-3: What are the performance indicators? What is their purpose?

The William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Statute requires all states to develop a system of performance indicators to monitor, evaluate, and improve programs. Indicators for adults include: (A) achievement in the areas of reading, writing, English-language acquisition, problem solving, and numeracy; (B) receipt of a secondary school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED); (C) entry into a postsecondary school, job retraining program, or employment or career advancement, including the military; and (D) such other indicators as the State may develop. Indicators for children include: (A) improvement in ability to read on grade level or reading readiness; (B) school attendance; (C) grade retention and promotion; and (D) such other indicators as the State may develop.

Important first steps for new coordinators and administrators are to:

  • become familiar with New York State's system of performance indicators (see link below)

  • devise a realistic plan for achieving these goals 

  • develop a system for collecting and entering the required data.

For more information:

Performance Indicator Manual

Statute, Section 1240

Q6-4: Who may I contact for assistance with ES-Star and performance indicators?

To provide additional support for local programs, the New York State Education Department identified eight performance indicator content mentors. A mentor is located in each region of the state and is available to:

  • help programs understand the performance indicators 
  • provide training on gathering data and managing on-line data 
  • offer ongoing technical assistance. 

In addition, a complete list or questions and answers is available online. This list, see link below, is updated  periodically.

For more information:

Performance Indicator Content Mentors

Performance Indicator and ES-Star Questions and Answers



Q6-5: What is the purpose of a local evaluation?

Federal guidelines require an independent evaluation of each program. At the beginning of each program year, representatives of the partnership meet with the evaluator to identify a focus of inquiry for the coming year. This usually involves several questions and answers that will help the program improve its performance. For instance, a program might ask, "Why are we having difficulty keeping families? What are some strategies for improving attendance and retention?" The evaluator then works with the program to devise a plan for collecting and analyzing information and making recommendations. The results are used to improve the quality of the program and services provided to families.

For more information:

State Policy on Local Evaluation

Guide to Quality

RMC Research, Inc.

Q6-6: What should I expect from the local evaluator?

The local evaluator must remain objective. Therefore, an independent evaluator may not be a member of the program implementation staff or an employee of any agency included in the partnership. The local evaluator should have a background in at least one of the family literacy component areas and experience in evaluations. 

A contract between the partnership and the evaluator should be agreed upon prior to any services being rendered. The contract may include the number of on-site visits that the evaluator may make, attendance at fall and spring statewide meetings (i.e., the session for local evaluators), a proposed yearly evaluation plan, as well as salary. When hiring an evaluator, it is important to clearly state the role and expectations of the evaluator and ensure that the individual understands the State policy on local evaluation. 

The evaluator must attend the special training session conducted for local evaluators at the Even Start Family Literacy technical assistance meetings each fall and spring. This session introduces participants to the NYS requirements for local evaluation and offers opportunity for discussions with other evaluators. 

For more information:

Sample evaluator agreement (1)

Sample evaluator agreement (2)

Sample Scope of Work

Q6-7: How do I locate an effective evaluator in my area?

Contacting a member of the State's technical assistance resources or a neighboring partnership for input may be helpful. It is important to locate an evaluator that the program feels comfortable with and that the program feels will offer expertise.

For more information:

RMC Research, Inc.

NYS Technical Assistance Contacts

Q6-8: How should an evaluator work with a program throughout the year? 


The evaluator should become well acquainted with all aspects of your program. It is helpful if your evaluator attends staff meetings, visits your program's components, and meets with staff and parents. The program should share ES-Star and other program data (as appropriate) with the evaluator on a monthly basis. Your evaluator is required to attend one statewide meeting of local evaluators. Information on the session will be posted on the Even Start and Evaluator listservs. Evaluators who become involved in other aspects of statewide programming gain valuable knowledge that will enhance their work with programs.



Q6-9: What do I do with the local evaluation?


All Even Start Family Literacy Programs are required to submit one copy of the local evaluation by August 15 to: NYS Education Department, Early Education and Reading Initiatives Team, 381 EBA, Albany, NY 12344, Attention: Even Start. The evaluation should include recommendations for program improvements which the partnership should seriously consider as it makes plans for ongoing program implementation.


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