TO:State Directors of Vocational-Technical Education
State Directors of Community, Technical and Junior Colleges
State Tech-Prep Coordinators
FROM: Maurice James
Division of High School, Postsecondary and Career Education>
SUBJECT: Clarification Questions and Answers to Assist in Completing the Consolidated Annual Performance, Accountability, and Financial Status Reporting (CAR) Instrument
The Office of Management and Budget has approved the Consolidated Annual Performance, Accountability, and Financial Status Reporting (CAR) instrument for the State Basic grant and Tech-Prep grant programs under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, P.L. 105-332.
The CAR instrument has been revised in part to include recommendations from states and departmental staff. The initial instrument was occasionally unclear and confusing, which required additional clarifications. We have discontinued the collection of some data elements in order to reduce burden and have identified the specific changes within the collection instrument for clarification (see Q & A's). Recognizing that some states may not collect individual student data in the format shared within the new basic grant and tech prep collection system, we encourage states to report this data in the "Gender Unknown" cells for this reporting period. (For example some states may not collect ethnicity or special population data by gender, if that is the case, the state may include totals in the "gender unknown" cells).
The CAR instrument can be downloaded from the following websites: www.edcountability.net and www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/memorandums.html.
Finally, I would like to thank those of you who offered us recommendations during the course of developing this instrument and look forward to continued collaboration on ways to improve the CAR during years 4 and 5 reporting program years.
Q. What are the major revisions to the CAR instrument to decrease burden?
A. The three major revisions to the CAR instrument are:
- The removal of reporting student enrollment data by "career cluster."
- The elimination of the "Military" Placement and Retention sub-indicator and allowing states to report these students on the "Employment" Placement and Retention form.
- The inclusion of the "Gender Unknown" category to report data.
Q. If a state chooses not to use the web-based data collection system to report data, are they required to use the OMB approved Excel forms?
A. Yes. States are required to use the OMB approved Excel forms downloadable from the PCRN website at www.edcountability.net to report their data. This helps eliminate inaccuracies during the transferring of CAR data to DHSPCE's central database.
Q. What are the procedures for States wanting to report three major populations (Secondary, Postsecondary and Adult) categories?
A. Those States wanting to report three major populations - secondary, postsecondary, and another category such as technical schools or adult education centers should report in the following manner:
- Secondary data must be reported in the section entitled "Secondary" on each Core and Sub Indicator form
- Postsecondary (collegiate, AA degree granting institution) data must be reported in the section entitled "Postsecondary" on each Core and Sub Indicator form
- Adult (e.g. Tech Centers, Adult Evening School) data may be reported in the section entitled "Postsecondary" on the "Adult" form. States may duplicate the OMB approved Excel forms, as necessary.
- Additional Measures (Cost, Drop-outs, other academic areas e.g. English, Math and Science) data may be reported on the "Additional Measures" forms. States may duplicate the OMB approved Excel forms, as necessary.
Q. When a state reports Basic Grant and Tech Prep Student Enrollment data, is the Tech Prep student enrollment a subset of the Basic Grant student enrollment?
A.Yes. The Basic Grant student enrollment data includes all vocational students and the Tech Prep student is disaggregated on the Tech Prep Student Enrollment form.
Q. How should a state complete the forms, if they are unable or do not collect data by the required categories?
A. In instances where the state is unable or do not collect data by the required categories, zero should be indicated in the cells. This includes ethnic data.
Q. What is the difference between N/P and zero in a cell?
A. An N/P (Not Provided) is in a cell it means that the State has attempted to collect data from the locals or institutions; such data was not provided (N/P) by or could not be obtained by the local education agencies or institutions. It is the States' responsibility to attempt to get the information. An N/P reported will be counted, aggregated, as a zero. A "0" (zero) in the cell means that the State has received confirmation that there are no students in the category.
Q. How many digits after the decimal point should states report the level of performance percentages?
A. States should report the level of performance percentages two digits after the decimal.
Q. Is there a place to report students who did not provide their gender?
A. Yes. These students should be reported in "Gender Unknown" cells on the forms. (For example: if you have 10 students 3 females and 5 males, 2 students who did not identify their gender report these students in the "Gender Unknown" cell.)
Q. Why does some data appear in red in the "View Status" screen of the web-based data collection system? Also, should I proceed to approve and submit the data?
A. The data appears in red because of the system edit checks (see attachment.). Yes. You should proceed to approve and submit the CAR.
Q. When I have completed the OMB approved Excel forms what are the next steps for submission?
A. There are two options for submitting the OMB approved Excel forms: Option 1: Logon to the web-based data collection system website and follow the instructions on the "Table of Content" screen to upload the OMB approved Excel forms and narrative. Option 2: Submit the OMB approved Excel forms electronically to: OVAE.CAR@ed.gov and cc: a copy to the state liaison.
Q. Are all States required to use the web-based reporting system and what is the deadline for reporting?
A. No. States are not required to use the web-based reporting system. However, all States are strongly encouraged to use the user-friendly web-based reporting system. This will facilitate report submission and assure a more accurate transfer of data. The deadline date for reporting is December 31, 2002.
Q. Will extensions be granted for the year 3 reporting period?
A. We do not anticipate the granting of extensions to the reporting requirement. One consequence for a State that misses the deadline submission is it will affect their eligibility for an incentive grant.
Q. Should a State submit a paper CAR?
A. Yes, a paper submission of the CAR is possible however, it is not advised due to the possibility of multiple transcribing errors. A State must submit a signed and dated coversheet to:
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Division of High School, Postsecondary and Career Education
Attn: (Your State Liaison)
Washington, D.C. 20202-7241