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Abstract

Values underlie evaluations, but there is no consensus as to whose values should found evaluators' judgments of program quality. The controversial position of critical social theory evaluators—that societal values trump those of evaluation commissioners—is explored in terms of professional issues and standards, historical evolutions, philosophical trajectories, and social responsibility. Attention is given to risks, compensations, and opportunity costs associated with taking (or not) a critical social theory approach to evaluation. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc., and the American Evaluation Association.