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
Objective 4.7. All levels of the agency are fully performance-driven.
Context: The Government Performance and Results Act "the Results Act" (GPRA) provides the Department with strong support and guidance for new ways of operating and improving our programs. Its focus on results affects all aspects of an organization and its drafting legislation and regulations, ensuring program quality and financial integrity, conducting employee appraisals and assessment, and measuring program performance and more.
Key strategies for FY 1999
- Sound implementation of the Strategic Plan. Building on the Department's well-received Strategic Plan, extensive steps are being taken to ensure effective implementation of the plan by:
- Effectively communicate the Strategic Plan to employees by such means as highlighting success stories, training, and recognizing employees for good work implementing the plan.
- Track performance through quarterly reporting that assesses progress against each objective and provides feedback for continuous improvement.
- Align performance appraisals for assistant secretaries and senior managers with the achievement of Strategic Plan objectives.
- Promote an analytic agenda that includes benchmarking studies to identify best public and private sector practices and strengthen the underlying knowledge base for achieving Strategic Plan objectives.
- Conduct independent evaluations of the usefulness of the Strategic plan for decision making and continuous improvement.
- Strong budget support for planning and performance measurement. The structure of the Department's 1999 budget request reflects the Strategic Plan and includes funding for evaluations, performance measurement, statistics and assessments required by GPRA.
- Performance reporting linked to budget and strategic plan to make the Strategic Plan a useful management tool.
- Resource allocations are aligned with agency priorities and performance, including support in the budget for evaluations, performance measurement, statistics and assessments.
- Training funds support development of skills in Department employees for implementation of plans and performance measurement.
- Ensuring assessment of the quality of data systems. The quality of a performance measurement process is no better than the quality of the data collected. (For more detail, see Section 3. Quality of Performance Data: How Data Will Be Verified and Validated.)
- The Department will support self assessments and evaluations of indicator systems for both the Department's Strategic Plan and the individual program plans.
- Develop guidance for ED managers on developing and monitoring quality data systems, and the use of data to manage program performance.
- The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will assess and evaluate the information systems for selected program areas that are critical for obtaining the data needed to meet GPRA requirements.
- Effective collaboration with partners in performance measurement and data systems. In the federal education system the success of a strategic plan depends on the success of its partnerships.
- Partner collaboration on implementing the plan is continually expanded and strengthened.
- State/local grantees are provided models and best practices for performance monitoring and analyses.
- Communicate the Strategic Plan externally with partners though meetings, presentations at major conferences, organization newsletters and the Internet.
Programs that have evaluation set-asides supporting this objective or authorized to fund evaluations
- Title I Evaluation
- Magnet Schools Program
- Charter Schools Program
- TRIO Program
- Vocational Education National Programs
- IDEA National Activities
- Adult Education Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Selected performance indicators and charts
Performance indicators in Objective 4.7 identify the extent to which sound performance data are effectively used throughout the agency. These indicators address employee understanding of their contribution to the ED's goals and objective, the existence of adequate performance measurement systems, manager's use of performance data for improvement, and evidence that policy, budget and resource allocation decisions are aligned with ED's strategic priorities.
Employees will recognize the Strategic Plan as meaningful and understand how their work supports achieving the plan's goals and objectives. (Goal 4, indicator 27)
Indicator background and context. Critical to agency performance on this objective is the extent to which employees understand and support and actively work toward achieving the agencies goals and objective. From 1993 to 1996 there has been a 15% increase in reported employee understanding of how the goals and strategies support the mission of the Department. In part this increase may have been due to the development and release of the Department's first Strategic Plan in 1994. Distribution of the Department's 1998-2002 Strategic Plan kicked off implementation efforts that for the 4 year period from 1996 to 2000 should produce at least a similar 15% increase.
Data source. U.S. Department of Education Employee Survey, 1993, 1996.
Verification/validation of performance measures: The Inspector General will provide an independent assessment of the reliability and validity of program performance information. Use and impact of the Education Department's Strategic Plan and the effectiveness of planning operations will be validated through an independent panel composed of noted experts in the planning, evaluation and education field.
[Use of tax expenditures]