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

Star Schools Program - 2002

CFDA Number: 84.203 - Star Schools

Goal 8: To improve student learning and teaching through the use of distance learning technologies.
Objective 8.1 of 1: Promote the delivery of challenging content in core subjects.
Indicator 8.1.1 of 1: Challenging content: Challenging content aligned with standards at all academic levels (including high school credit, advanced placement, adult education, and Graduate Equivalency Diploma courses) through distance education will increase annually.
Targets and Performance Data Assessment of Progress Sources and Data Quality
Number of full credit courses offered through Star Schools
Year Actual Performance Performance Targets
Status: Target exceeded

Progress: Grantees report that 1502 courses are aligned with standards. Grantees also report that 1481 modules are aligned with standards.

Explanation: These are final data figures aggregated for the FY 2002 performance period. It should be noted that the Iowa Distance Education Alliance project is not included in the final FY 2001 total of courses aligned with standards because the project failed to comply with the Star Schools GPRA reporting deadline requirements. Excluding Iowa's perviously reported count of 813 courses for FY 2000, a total of 108 courses were reported by the other remaining projects. For FY 2001, there was a substantial increase from 108 (FY 2000) to 387 (FY 2001) in the number of courses offered that were aligned with standards by the other grantees. For FY 2002, there was a significant increase in total courses reported aligned with standards, because the Iowa Distance Education Alliance project, which was excluded in the final data figures aggregated for the FY 2001 performance period, complied with the FY 2002 Star Schools program GPRA reporting deadline requirements and therefore is included in the final data figures aggregated for FY 2002.  
Additional Source Information: Fy 2002 Annual performance and evaluation reports; FY 2002 data retrieved from online reporting system.

Frequency: Annually.
Collection Period: 2002 - 2003
Data Available: October 2003
Validated By: No Formal Verification.
However, the program evaluation liaison and program officers review data from the online reporting system and evaluation reports from the projects to ascertain the extent to which evidence exists that the content is aligned with standards. The program evaluation liaison or program officer's review includes: examining the procedures that grantees use to align the standards with all academic levels; reviewing the sources of standards, strategies and procedures utilized for alignment; and verifying the evidence provided for alignment. The evaluation liaison performs a quality check and review for inconsistencies in the data, contacts the project for clarification of the input or request that data be modified. Projects modify data in the online reporting system accordingly and also provide an explanation for those modifications to the evaluation liaison and team leader. Site visits and reviews of additional reports from the project further confirm the data.

Limitations: Data are self- reported by the projects. Evidence of alignment with standards has been particularly difficult to assess. Determining the extent to which courses are challenging has also been difficult to assess.

Improvements: Planned improvements include utilizing the new aggregate analysis feature from the Star Schools online reporting system to gather and analyze specific data across all projects for courses and modules offered that are aligned with standards. Planned validation improvements on evidence of course alignment with standards include verifying whether or not projects utilize content experts to review and validate the extent to which: a) content is challenging b) standards are appropriate for the content delivered. In addition, we propose to modify the indicator in FY 2004 as follows: a) expand to include an elementary and secondary course and modules content category b) focus on projects offering reading, math, science, and foreign language courses and modules. We propose to add an indicator in professional development because half of the FY 1999 & FY 2000 grants focus on professional development and currently do not report to current indicator.


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