Misuse of Evaluations

Evaluation processes and findings can be misrepresented and misused. The profession recognizes a critical distinction between misevaluation, in which an evaluator performs poorly or fails to adhere to standards and principles, and misuse, in which users manipulate the evaluation in ways that distort the findings or corrupt the inquiry.

The profession has become increasingly concerned about problems of misuse, whether the source be politics, asking the wrong questions, pressures on internal evaluators to present only positive findings, petty self-interest, or ideology. Misuse, like use, is ultimately situational. Consider, for example, an illustrative case. An administrator blatantly quashes several negative evaluation reports to prevent the results from reaching the general public. On the surface, such an action appears to be a prime case of misutilization. Now consider ...

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