Murphy’s law is an adage that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But that does not meant that we cannot take every step to ensure a quality program. Here is how we maintain program integrity for the festival.
With the exception of certain academic categories, students are evaluated on their performances against a set of criteria. Students are not compared to each other, but rather are assessed on the rubric based upon their performance. Three evaluators who are considered experts in the field evaluate each performance. We have been blessed to have some phenomenal evaluators thanks to our Division Coordinators.
Evaluations are recorded on pre-printed and coded forms. An intricate coding system is used to eliminate scheduling and entry conflicts as well as to bring some level of integrity to the entry process.
After evaluations are completed, the forms make their way to tabulation. Tabulation reviews all scores and double checks that categories have been added correctly. They are then signed and delivered to data entry.
Data entry is completed by individuals that have no direct affiliation with any school’s in the festival. Date entry uses the code to locate the record in the database, enters the number of evaluators and then enters the score for each. The form is then placed in a file. Once all forms have been entered for an event, Head of Tabulation reviews all entries based solely upon the sum of all judges scores. Based upon this data, a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal are awarded to the top three scores.
Are there ever ties?
From time to time a tie may occur in a category or event. When this happens, the Head of Tabulation determines if one performance had more judges indicate it was a Superior w/ Invitation (38 pts. or higher). The entry with the highest number of Superior w/ Invitations wins. However, if an entry has the same number of Superior w/ Invitations, then the evaluators are consulted to break the tie. The evaluators consider the overall performance of the tying entries and determine which one should score higher and which one lower. Evaluators make the change to the performances and the scores are re-entered. The Head of Tabulation re-runs the report and identifies Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
All of this is done while performances are still going on!