The Department of Education has identified a limited number of priority goals that will be a particular focus over the next two years. These goals, which will help measure the success of the Department's cradle-to-career education strategy, reflect the importance of teaching and learning at all levels of the education system. These goals are consistent with the Department's four-year Strategic Plan and will be used to regularly monitor and report progress. To view information on all Department programs, please visit www.ed.gov.
Guiding Principle: Using Evidence to Drive Improvements in Policies and Programs
The effective implementation of the Department's goals will depend, in part, on the effective use of high-quality and timely data, including evaluations and performance measures, throughout the lifecycle of policies and programs. The Department is committed to increasing the number of programs and initiatives that are evaluated using methods that include those consistent with the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards and to incorporating cost-effectiveness measures into evaluations and program improvement systems. Furthermore, the Department will work to improve staff and internal system capabilities (i.e. data collection and reporting systems) for analyzing data and using it to improve programs. The Department will also focus on creating a systematic process for ensuring that program offices are aware of the latest related research to better inform program improvement and restructure competitions around what works. Targets, strategies, and milestones for these Priority Goals are still under development.
- Improve outcomes for all children from birth through third grade.
By September 30 2013, at least nine states will implement a high-quality plan to collect and report disaggregated data on the status of children at kindergarten entry.
- Improve learning by ensuring that more students have an effective teacher.
By September 30th, 2013, at least 500 school districts will have comprehensive teacher evaluation and support systems and a majority of States will have statewide requirements for comprehensive teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.
- Demonstrate progress in turning around the nation's lowest-performing schools.
By September 30th 2013, 500 of the nation's persistently lowest-achieving schools will have demonstrated significant improvement and serve as potential models for future turnaround efforts.
- Make informed decisions and improve instruction through the use of data.
By September 30th, 2013 all states will implement comprehensive statewide longitudinal data systems.
- Prepare all students for college and career.
By September 30th 2013, all states will adopt internationally-benchmarked college- and career-ready standards.
- Improve students' ability to afford and complete college.
By September 30th, 2013, the Department will develop college scorecards designed to improve consumer decision-making and transparency about affordability for students and borrowers by streamlining information on all degree-granting institutions into a single, comparable, and easily-understandable format, while also helping all states and institutions develop college completion plans.
For more information on the Department's FY 2012–13 Priority Goals, please go to www.Performance.gov.