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 U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans - Link to ED.gov Home Page

Performance Highlights | Goal 1:
Create a culture of achievement

The 40th anniversary celebration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) calls to mind the language of that act: "the Congress hereby declares it to be the policy of the United States to provide financial assistance ... to local educational agencies serving areas with concentrations of children from low-income families ..." The congressional mandate of 1965 has guided the federal role in elementary and secondary education for 40 years. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which amended the ESEA, preserves the equal access tradition and couples it with accountability for results. The focus of Goal 1, creating a culture of achievement, derives from No Child Left Behind's emphasis on accountability.

Key Results for Goal 1

  • As a follow-up to Secretary Spellings's 2005 announcement of a "more workable, sensible" approach to implementing No Child Left Behind, during the SY 2004-05 amendment cycle, the Department processed and approved requests from 46 states for amendments to their accountability systems.
  • State-level education leaders responded to a customer satisfaction survey on the Department's products and services. The Department's score of 63 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index is consistent with other federal grant-making agencies.

Areas of Focus

To improve future results, the Department accepted a recommendation from the National Board for Education Sciences, a 14-member advisory group to the Institute of Education Sciences, which is the Department's primary research arm, that in FY 2006 we set as a priority developing systems for delivering research that policy-makers, educators, and the public can rely on in their quest for education interventions that work. Improving delivery and dissemination of evidence-based approaches will become a priority of the Department's research action plan for FY 2006.

The Department was unable to collect data in FY 2005 for our measure on whether schools have adopted evidence-based approaches to instruction and integrated them into the classroom; we are committed to collecting such data when more information is available to schools about a range of evidence-based approaches.