Data Collection Limits Program Evaluation
Researchers at California State University-Bakersfield are having problems evaluating the efficacy of Kern County's First 5 program because previous administrators of a university research center did not collect the necessary data properly, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
County First 5 programs administer funds for children's health and education programs. A 50-cent state tobacco tax provides funds for the programs.
Three professors in June assumed administration of the university's Applied Research Center, which contracts with counties to evaluate First 5 programs. A Californian investigation questioned how ARC under previous administrators spent funds from First 5 programs in Kern and other counties.
Steven Ladd, executive director of First 5 Kern County, said the expenses were valid.
In the annual evaluation of Kern County's First 5 program, the new administrators wrote, "We confronted enormous data limitations across all of the 34 programs for which we received data." The new administrators said they would evaluate the database to determine what information has been collected (Wenner, Bakersfield Californian, 10/28).