For strategic planning efforts to be effective, for performance and accountability processes to work, and for performance and budget integration to be enabled, data-gathering-and-reporting systems are vital. No Child Left Behind and The President's Management Agenda are intensely focused on performance-performance that is measurable, performance that is accountable, performance that leads to results. To this end, the Department of Education has launched the Performance-Based Data Management Initiative. The vision for this initiative is to provide accurate and timely data on the effectiveness of educational programs and the achievement trends in America's schools while reducing the reporting burdens on grantees. The initiative will result in a nationwide Education Data Exchange Network built on a framework of common definitions and standards and supported through federal, state, and local partnerships.
The Department has also established an automated system to track program and office performance against targets and to monitor the implementation of strategic action steps. The system is designed so that key performance data and related operational strategies can be rolled up into Principal Office plans and the Department-wide strategic plan. This data is used by upper-level management to guide and direct resources toward strategies that have proven to be most effective in accomplishing the Department's strategic goals. The system also enables management evaluations and rewards systems to be linked to the successful achievement of key priorities so that strategic successes can be acknowledged and rewarded.