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Judges, not Teachers, Measure Effectiveness

Each SAGE team is asked to complete activities during the year that meet the four judging criteria.

The effectiveness of each team is determined by an independent judging panel of business and civic leaders. SAGE encourages these leaders to serve on high school teams’ business advisory boards, but these leaders can also participate by serving as judges (note: in order to assure objectivity, SAGE asks each judge to complete a judge’s oath).

After the competition is over, SAGE collects the annual reports and multimedia presentations, and accompanying media coverage and creates a portfolio for each team. This portfolio allows us to summarize the quantity and quality of ventures created, operated and sustained during the year. Other descriptive statistics are also collected, summarized and analyzed.

At the beginning and end of the year, each SAGE student also is asked to complete a SAGE Student Questionnaire, and each adult ally (e.g., high school teacher) is asked to complete a SAGE Team Data Sheet.

Descriptive statistics include:

  1. Number of new or improved business ventures created by SAGE teams
  2. Number of new social ventures created by the SAGE teams
  3. Number of annual written reports summarizing each team’s activities
  4. Number of verbal presentations made at state and national SAGE competitions
  5. Number of business and community leaders directly involved as SAGE BAB members
  6. Number of business and community leaders directly involved on a “SAGE Jury” of panelists who evaluate the written reports and multimedia presentations (this form of assessment leads to benchmarking and continuous improvement among all SAGE teams)
  7. Number of university mentors (usually 2 per SAGE team) who assist each SAGE team in identifying, completing and reporting its projects
  8. Number of gross impressions made by media obtained for USA SAGE, including newspaper, radio, television and Internet.

Is SAGE a pattern-changing idea? We think so. For a social enterprise like SAGE to have an impact at the national and international levels, it must pass the “knockout test.” This is the test that Ashoka Foundation founder, Mr. Bill Drayton, says that a prospective Ashoka Fellow must pass in order to become a fellow.