A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998
Introduction and Overview
The Department of Education's Mission
To ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation.
On September 30, 1997, the U.S. Department of Education delivered its first "Results Act" Strategic Plan for 1998-2002 to Congress. The plan included the Department's mission: To ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. The plan also included four goals--three addressing critical national priorities in education and one to make the Department efficient and an effective partner with states, local communities, and higher education institutions in the important work of educational improvement. Our goals are:
- Help all students reach challenging academic standards so that they are prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment.
- Build a solid foundation for learning for all children.
- Ensure access to postsecondary education and lifelong learning.
- Make ED a high-performance organization by focusing on results, service quality, and customer satisfaction.
The goals represent key customer groups and education processes, starting with support for the elementary and secondary school system, moving to support for specific K-12 target populations, and then to postsecondary education access. (See Exhibit 1 for an illustration of the relationship of the goals.)
To accomplish the goals, the Strategic Plan included objectives and strategies and, for accountability and to inform decision-making, performance indicators. The objectives are shown in the framework chart on page 10. Performance indicators ranged from end outcome measures such as fourth-grade children's progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress to outputs such as the number of students participating in the comparatively new School-to-Work program, to process measures such as the number of states that have instituted standards for core subjects such as reading and math.
To make the plan work, the Department has:
- developed an annual plan to translate its multiyear strategic goals and objectives into concrete annual strategies covering policy and budgetary initiatives and management reforms,
- specified the financial and program details to implement Education's annual plan in the FY 1999 Congressional Justifications for the President's Budget and the individual program plans, and
- developed and initiated a set of activities to ensure that our plan is implemented to support a process of continuous improvement toward our annual and long-term goals and objectives.
This document presents the Congress with the Department's FY 1999 Annual Plan. It includes annual performance plans for each objective in the Department's Strategic Plan and program performance plans that cover all of the Department's programs. Budget details for the programs are available in the Department's Congressional Justifications.
Development of an Annual Plan that links with the FY 1999 President's Budget
The Strategic Plan's long-term goals and objectives provide the framework for performance planning within the Department of Education, including budget justifications and performance plans for individual programs and offices. The Department of Education's first-ever Annual Performance Plan is fully integrated into the agency's FY 1999 budget request. The Department's FY 1999 budget request aligns budgetary and other programmatic and management resources to help reach Strategic Plan goals and objectives and to support the program objectives and performance indicators reflected in the Department's new set of program performance plans.
Selected FY 1999 budget items.
The following examples illustrate how the FY 1999 budget supports each Strategic Plan goal and objective in FY 1999.
Goal 1: High Standards for All Students (an estimated $6.4 billion in the FY 1999 budget). To help raise the academic standards for all students, the annual plan includes:
- Objective 1.1. Challenging standards. The $476 million for Goals 2000 state grants to support states in having academic standards and assessments aligned with content for at least two core subjects by the year 2001.
- Objective 1.2. Comprehensive school-to-work system. The $125 million for the School-to-Work Opportunities program with an identical amount provided in the Department of Labor request to help meet the year 2000 targets of all 50 states and two million youth actively engaged in comprehensive school-to-work systems.
- Objective 1.3. Safe and drug-free schools. The $526 million for Safe and Drug free Schools and Communities State Grants seeks to strengthen performance through competitive grants to places that have developed high-quality, research-based approaches to attack severe drug and violence problems. The budget also provides $50 million to support recruitment, training and employment of drug and school safety coordinators serving almost half of all middle schools, nationwide.
- Objective 1.4. Talented and dedicated teachers. The $1.1 billion begins the class size reduction initiative, with the goal of helping to reduce class sizes in grades 1-3 to a nationwide average of 18 within 7 years.
- Objective 1.5. Meaningful family and community involvement. The $200 million for 21st Century Learning Centers would help support 500,000 children in about 4000 before - and after-school learning programs, a time when many families with hard working parents have difficulty finding supervised care for their children.
- Objective 1.6. Greater public school choice. The $100 million request for Charter schools would support planning and start-up costs for up to 1400 schools heading toward the target of 3000 charter schools by 2001.
- Objective 1.7. Educational technology. The $75 million in "Teacher Training in Technology" would help ensure that all new teachers can use technology effectively in the classroom.
Goal 2: A Solid Foundation for Learning (an estimated $13.8 billion in the FY 1999 budget). To reach the challenging academic standards called for in Goal 1, children with specific needs must be given the appropriate opportunities to enter school ready to learn; to master the basics of reading by the end of the third grade; and to know math by the end of the eighth grade. Highlights of FY 1999 budget proposals to achieve these aims include:
- Objective 2.1. Enter school "ready to learn." The $374 million for Special Education Preschool Grants and the $370 million for Special Education Infants and Families program help ensure that children with disabilities are ready to enter first grade on an equal footing as their peers without disabilities.
- Objective 2.2. Read well by end of third grade. The $260 million for the America Reads Challenge would strengthen parental involvement in reading and extend learning opportunities through the use of reading specialists, tutors and professional staff development. Also, the $900 million request for Work Study would provide additional resources for more than 100,000 Work-Study students to serve as reading tutors. A majority of participants who benefit from the $7.8 billion request for Title I receive reading help.
- Objective 2.3. Know challenging math by eighth grade. The $335 million for Eisenhower Professional Development State Grants will emphasize the importance of providing sustained, intensive, high-quality professional development for mathematics teachers in grades 5-8, as part of the ED-NSF Action Strategy for improving achievement in mathematics. This strategy also includes $33.7 million to improve mathematics instruction through professional development and technical assistance under the Eisenhower Federal Activities Program. In addition, many Title I students would receive help in math under the Title I $7.8 billion request.
- Objective 2.4. Assist special populations. Funding priorities include:
- $7.8 billion for Title I grants to serve more than 10.5 million students in schools located in high poverty areas, including the allocation of all the $392 million increase to the very highest poverty areas. These funds will go primarily to strengthen instruction in reading and mathematics.
- $3.8 billion for Special Education Grants to States will help improve the quality of education and assist the 6 million children with disabilities to meet the challenging standards expected of all children
- $600 million for the Hispanic Education plan will increase funding for programs to help raise the quality of Hispanic education and boost their relatively low high school graduation rates.
Goal 3: Postsecondary Education and Lifelong Learning ($15.8 billion in the FY 1999 budget). The Department of Education supports significant levels of student financial assistance and provides information and assistance to help families and student take best advantage of that assistance. Examples of new or increased initiatives to directed at strengthening access to postsecondary education are:
- Objective 3.1. Successfully prepare secondary students for postsecondary education. The $140 million High Hopes College-School Partnerships would bring together colleges, business and community organizations to provide middle and high school students with information about financial aid, mentoring and tutoring to keep students on track toward college.
- Objective 3.2. Financial aid and services to assist postsecondary students enroll and complete their educational program.
- $7.6 billion for Pell Grants would increase the maximum award by $100 to $3,100 and serve 3.9 million students. The $33.9 billion of loans through Family Education Loans and Federal Direct Student Loan programs would support 9.1 million loans.
- $583 million for TRIO would provide support services for help 744,000 students to enter and complete college.
- Objective 3.3. An efficient, sound, and responsive postsecondary student aid delivery system. The Administration's FY 1999 Budget identified the modernization of the student aid delivery system as one of its 22 highest priority management objectives. The Department is currently developing a detailed two-year plan with specific goals and objectives to modernize the student aid delivery system in order to more effectively and efficiently obtain the data needed to manage and operate the programs.
- Objective 3.4. Improve lifelong learning. The Lifetime Learning tax credits worth up to $1,000 in 1999 will assist about 7.1 million students, including those taking class part-time to upgrade their job skills. The $2.3 billion for Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants would help over 1 million individuals with disabilities receive the services they need to become employed.
Key management reforms
The Department is committed to engaging every employee in the tasks needed to accomplish the Strategic Plan goals and objectives, to improving internal performance management systems, and to reallocating resources as needed. In the wake of the reinventing government movement and passage of the Results Act, the Department is investing in its systems and people to ensure that it is in touch with and responsive to educational needs and has the capacity to carry out its leadership role in improving education in America.
The most sizable management function in the Department is the administration of postsecondary student financial aid. Financial aid, including budget authority and loans, totals 70 percent of ED's funding. Administration of that function takes about 60 percent of Departmental management funding and about 40 percent of all ED staff (in full-time equivalents). Management in this area also involves major contracts for data systems that account for 38 percent of that 60 percent. As a result, the Department has a special objective focused on student financial aid management.
The cross-cutting management objectives are highlighted under Goal 4: "make the Education Department a high-performance organization." These objectives are also realized through specific program improvements discussed under the objectives for the three prior goals. Examples of both Department-wide and program specific management improvements for FY 1999 are:
- Objective 4.1. Customer service. Continued improvements in customer service will be achieved through monitoring our customer performance against the Department's customer service standards, the implementation of a one-stop shop for customers, expanded access to information through our award-winning WEB page and 1-800 numbers, and improved access to customers with disabilities through new web-page formatting and architectural/facilities improvements.
- Objective 4.2. Partner flexibility with continued accountability for results. By 1999, the Department proposes to expand the Cooperative Audit Resolution and Oversight Initiative (CAROI) to about half the states from the current 10 states; expand ED-FLEX participation for waivers to all states from the current 12 states; and expand technical assistance through the $40 million request for the Comprehensive Regional Technical Assistance Centers. Flexible and innovative government arrangements are reflected in new and innovative partnerships, such as the partnership with the Mott foundation to support planning and information networks for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers; and "The Partnership for Family Involvement in Education" with its target of 5,000 member organizations in 1999, as compared with 33 members when launched in 1994.
- Objective 4.3. An up-to-date knowledge base. The proposed $50 million for a new Interagency Research Initiative, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, will advance knowledge in such areas as the acquisition and teaching of reading and mathematics and the application of new brain research.
- Objective 4.4. Sound information technology to improve impact and efficiency. The $4 million request is to support the comprehensive assessment, validation and renovation of computer systems to ensure "Year 2000 data compliance." The Department is committed to carrying out the Information Technology Management Reform Act (Clinger-Cohen Act) with major expansion in students electronic application of postsecondary financial assistance and expanded access of person with disabilities to information and publications.
- Objective 4.5. Highly skilled and high performing employees. Employee training will be aligned to support the Department's strategic and annual plans, upgraded through partnership arrangements with leading public and private sector organizations (e.g., the John Hancock company for strategic planning and human resource development); and strengthened through on-line computer-based training to provide access, as needed.
- Objective 4.6. Ensuring financial integrity. Our overall 1999 goals are to obtain a clean financial audit and improve the product value obtained from our contracts. Key initiatives include strengthening postsecondary financial management systems (e.g., implementing a risk-assessment model and a single integrated data system), expanding performance-based contracts to all new contracts and full implementation of EDCAPS (Education Department Automated Processing System)
- Objective 4.7. A performance-driven agency. The Department will track plan implementation quarterly, ensure at least one staff person in each program area has appropriate training in data use and analysis, and conduct independent program evaluations to ensure data quality. The Department is also working closely with the Inspector General in its review to assess the reliability of Department-wide and program performance data. To reinforce data quality improvements and controls, each program manager will also have to attest to the level of validity and reliability of their performance data or have an improvement plan in place.
Coordination with other federal agencies
The Annual Plan identifies opportunities to improve coordination across agencies to enable the Department to better serve program participants and to reduce inefficiencies in service delivery. Many federal agencies have education functions, ranging from staff training, fellowships, grants, or loans for postsecondary students; grants and other supports to state and local education agencies; and even the operation of schools (Departments of Defense and Interior). In addition, coordination is often critical for management areas such as verifying student family income and other financial information with Treasury and Social Security Administration records.
Through ongoing communication, joint research, coordinated dissemination and technical assistance, and streamlined regulations and reporting requirements, the Education Department is building strong collaborations with other federal agencies. Coordination activities are highlighted in each objective performance plan, starting on page 12. In addition, a summary table listing coordination activities by federal departments and independent agencies is shown in Appendix A.
Highlights of cross-agency coordination within our annual plan are:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs. Coordinate program funds for at-risk students, alcohol and drug abuse; and reading, math and family involvement activities.
- Corporation for National Service. Coordinate implementation of America Reads.
- Department of Defense. Coordinate Education Department programs received by DOD schools; and participate on the steering committee of the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education.
- Federal Communications Commission. Coordinate implementation of the Education (E)-rate.
- National Science Foundation. Joint interagency research imitative to promote knowledge development in technology, mathematics, and brain research.
- Health and Human Services.
- In the area of drug and violence prevention: use of performance data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Monitoring the Future) and Centers for Disease Control (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System); cross-agency consultation on evaluation projects (HHS's School Health Policies and Program Study ); joint projects to provide training and technical assistance to educators, communities, and states (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and National Institute on Drug Abuse). In addition to these, support for the HHS Secretary's Initiative on Youth Substance Abuse Prevention (with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and other agencies) .
- In the area of early childhood education: a joint interagency research initiative to promote knowledge development in early learning including emerging literacy and reading instruction with National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; work with Head Start Bureau to align indicators of progress and quality with Even Start and support "Transition to School" grants to sustain Head Start educational gains; joint activities through the "Communities Can" initiative to promote school-linked services; and use the Interagency Early Childhood Research Working Group to exchange research-based information on early learning.
- Housing and Urban Development. As a member of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, collaborate on a national survey of Homelessness Assistance Providers and Clients.
- Department of Justice. Joint effort to develop and implement the President's Report Card on School Violence; use of performance data from National Crime Victimization Survey for performance measurement; ED's National Study on School Violence conducted in cooperation with the National Institute for Justice-sponsored National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools; joint drug and violence prevention activities, including the truancy and hate crimes initiatives with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; joint projects to provide training and technical assistance on drug and violence prevention to educators, communities, and states, with the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
- Labor Department. Joint administration of National School-to-Work Office, and aligned grant-making, technical assistance, and performance reporting for School-to-Work.
- Office of National Drug Control Policy. Continue to collaborate on drug prevention initiatives and performance measurement activities.
- National Endowment for the Arts. Joint project to provide training and technical assistance to educators and communities on drug and violence prevention activities.
- Office of Science and Technology Policy. Coordinate technology activities as part of Interagency action plan on learning technologies.
- Treasury Department.
- Coordinate information and administration of Hope Scholarship and Lifelong Learning credits.
- Coordinate the development of initiatives to finance school construction.
Working with our education partners
To accomplish our goals, the Department works in partnership with states, schools, communities, institutions of higher education, and financial institutions--and through them with students, teachers and professors, families, administrators, and employers. While our partners may well fully support the mission and goals we espouse, there is room for differing opinions on how to reach those goals. We are committed to working jointly with states and communities to establish performance partnerships that respect varying local circumstances, set mutual goals, provide or identify sufficient resources to achieve success, and give flexibility in administration in return for accountability for performance.
In addition to providing financial support of $36.8 billion in FY 1999, examples of partnership activities will include:
- Continuing to implement program waivers and other flexibility provisions in elementary and secondary education programs, including expanding ED-FLEX eligibility to all 50 states.
- Improving performance data at all levels--federal, state, and local--to provide necessary feedback for improvement as well as information for accountability. A good example is the new partnership with Chief State School Officers to work collaboratively through state pilots to streamline elementary and secondary education reporting and to improve the timeliness and accuracy of performance indicators.
- Working with 4,000 family, school, employer and religious organizations through the "Family Involvement Partnership for Education" to exchange information about effective practices for family involvement and to support all children to achieve to new educational standards.
- Launching an historic public/private partnership with the Mott Foundation, which committed $55 million over five years to support technical assistance, information sharing and program monitoring for the 21st Century After-School Program.
Using the plan
Historically a weak link in management improvement systems has been that improvement plans fail to take hold and are not seriously implemented throughout the agency. The Department is well aware of the serious flaws in implementing past federal management reforms, such as zero-based budgeting and management-by-objectives. To help ensure effective plan implementation, the Department will:
- Communicate to its employees about all phases of the plan and its importance though employee newsletters, recognition of effective employee improvement efforts, and employee training activities.
- Align performance appraisals for assistant secretaries and senior managers with achievement of Strategic Plan and individual program plan objectives.
- Train staff in areas linked to performance on the Strategic Plan, including training in performance management.
- Report quarterly on performance for each objective and conduct reviews by the Deputy Secretary.
- Evaluate independently the quality of implementation of the Department's Strategic Plan based on the independent work of known experts in the field and audits and reviews performed by the Inspector General.
Verifying and validating data and results
The quality of performance-driven decisions are no better than the quality of the data on which they are based. To help ensure reliable and valid performance measures, the Department will: develop data standards for performance measures consistent with standards used by the Department's statistical agency; train appropriate staff in data quality assurance procedures; work with our elementary and secondary partners, including the Chief State School Officers, to pilot test state/local systems aligned with national performance indicators; work to streamline currently fragmented postsecondary data systems through developing an integrated systems architecture; and monitor information quality through independent evaluations and through coordinated activities with the Inspector General.
|Exhibit 2 |
U.S. Department of Education
Framework of Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives
|Mission: To ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation.|
Help all students reach challenging academic standards so that they are prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment.
Build a solid foundation for learning for all children.
Ensure access to postsecondary education and lifelong learning.
Make ED a high-performance organization by focusing on results, service quality, and customer satisfaction.
1.1 States develop and implement challenging standards and assessments for all students in the core academic subjects.
1.2 Every state has a school-to-work system that increases student achievement, improves technical skills, and broadens career opportunities for all.
1.3 Schools are strong, safe, disciplined, and drug-free.
1.4 A talented and dedicated teacher is in every classroom in America.
1.5 Families and communities are fully involved with schools and school improvement efforts.
1.6 Greater public school choice will be available to students and families.
1.7 Schools use advanced technology for all students and teachers to improve education.
2.1 All children enter school ready to learn.
2.2 Every child reads independently by the end of the third grade.
2.3 Every eighth-grader masters challenging mathematics, including the foundations of algebra and geometry.
2.4 Special populations receive appropriate services and assessments consistent with high standards.
3.1 Secondary school students get the information, skills, and support they need to prepare successfully for postsecondary education.
3.2 Postsecondary students receive the financial aid and support services they need to enroll in and complete their educational program.
3.3 Postsecondary student aid delivery and program management is efficient, financially sound, and customer-responsive.
3.4 Adults can strengthen their skills and improve their earning power over their lifetime through lifelong learning.
4.1 Our customers receive fast, seamless service and dissemination of high-quality information and products.
4.2 Our partners have the support and flexibility they need without diminishing accountability for results.
4.3 An up-to-date knowledge base is available from education research to support education reform and equity.
4.4 Our information technology investments are sound and used to improve impact and efficiency.
4.5 The Department's employees are highly skilled and high-performing.
4.6 Management of our programs and services ensures financial integrity.
4.7 All levels of the agency are fully performance
[Annual Performance on Objectives]