U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Fund for the Improvement of Education

Goal 8: To contribute to the achievement of the National Education Goals by supporting nationally significant and innovative projects for improving K-12 education.
Objective 1 of 1: SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT'S STRATEGIC PRIORITIES IN ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION THROUGH NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS OF HIGH QUALITY.
Indicator 8.1.1 of 3: Nationally significant projects are supportive of strategic priorities: Ninety percent of all FIE-funded projects will support the Department's strategic priorities in elementary and secondary education, and 90 percent of the peer-reviewed projects will receive at least an 80 percent rating for national significance.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Alignment with strategic priorities (in percentage)
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1999
100
100
2000
100
100
2001
100
100
National significance receiving rating (in percentage)
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1999
72
90
2000
95
90
2001
57
90
Status: Unable to judge.  

Explanation: Earmarked projects were not included in the analysis of national significance because their applications do not receive scores and are scores, and are not peer reviewed. These non-competitive projects are often locally focused and their significance cannot easily be assessed from their original applications. However, overall, the projects are expected to produce nationally significant results by the end of the project period.  
Additional Source Information: Peer-reviewer ratings of applications, 2001.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001.
Data Available: April 2003.
Validated By: No Formal Verification.
Data collected from peer reviewed instruments.

Limitations: In FY 2001, the only competition under the FIE Program administered by OERI was for Pilot Projects in Character Education Partnerships. Under this program authority, only 14 states were eligible to apply. The competition received applications from 11 states and awarded nine grants. It is likely that if there had been more eligible applicants, the competition would have produced applications with higher scores.

Improvements: In FY 2002 there will be a competition for new awards conducted under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Under this program authority, all State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies will be eligible to compete. This greatly increased number of eligible applicants will most likely make a difference in the scores of the top rated applications. The Department will also be revising GPRA indicators to align with the new strategic plan.

 
Indicator 8.1.2 of 3: High quality: Ninety percent of peer-reviewed projects will receive at least an 80 percent rating for quality of project design.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Criteria: project design
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
1999
48
90
2000
92
90
2001
37
90
Status: Negative trend away from target. Earmarked projects were not included in the analysis of project design because their applications are not peer reviewed.

Explanation: Of peer-reviewed projects, 92 percent of FY 2000 projects achieved the target, while only 37% of FY 2001 projects scored at least 80% for project design. Thirty-three percent of the character education projects scored 80 percent or above for project design. There was a positive trend for unsolicited projects. In FY 2000, none met this indicator. In FY 2001, 35 percent met the target. One hundred percent (1) of the Report Directives met the target.  
Additional Source Information: Peer-reviewer ratings of applications, 2001.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2001.
Data Available: Unknown 2002.
Validated By: No Formal Verification.
Data to be collected from peer review instruments. 

Limitations: In FY 2001, the only competition under the FIE Program administered by OERI was for Pilot Projects in Character Education Partnerships. Under this program authority, only 14 states were eligible to apply. The competition received applications from 11 states and awarded nine grants. It is likely that if there had been more eligible applicants, the competition would have produced application with higher scores. In FY 2002 there will be a competition for new awards conducted under a new program authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Under this program authority, all State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies will be eligible to compete.

Improvements: This greatly increased number of eligible applicants will most likely make a difference in the scores of the top rated applications. Many of the unsolicited applications receiving lower scores on this criterion were funded at lower levels than requested in the application. These planning grants are to allow for the development of better project designs. The Department will also be revising GPRA indicators to align with the new strategic plan.

 
Indicator 8.1.3 of 3: Progress: Eighty percent of projects will be judged to have successfully implemented strategies or yielded results that can contribute to improving education.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
.
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
2001
 
80
Status: Unable to judge. In 2000, a sample of projects submitting final reports (all from the same competition) were identified and a review instrument designed. Peer reviewers will be asked to review the final reports and also comment on the review instrument.

Explanation: Data not collected.  
Additional Source Information: Final reports, which will be externally reviewed.

Frequency: Annually.
Data Available: Unknown 2002.
Validated By: No Formal Verification.
Data collected from peer reviewing sample of final reports.

Limitations: Comments from peer reviewers will be used to improve the review instrument.

Improvements: It was determined that in order to be fair to the project and to also obtain reliable data, applicants would need to know about this type of requirement from the very beginning so that an evaluation plan could be part of the original application. Under the new program authority in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, evaluations are to be incorporated into all projects.

 

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