A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

U.S. Department of Education Strategic Plan, 1998-2002 - September 1997

Program Evaluations and Other Studies

The Department's Planning and Evaluation Service coordinates evaluation activities to provide valid and reliable information for performance measurement in this plan. In addition, the Department and other federal agencies fund a variety of assessments, statistical studies, and grantee performance data systems that provide information useful for this plan. This section provides an overview of the evaluations and coordination activities critical to effective data use. Detailed information on the performance indicators, including data sources and examples of baseline or related data is provided in Appendix A. Descriptions of the program evaluations, national statistical studies and assessments, and grantee performance data systems supporting this plan are provided in Appendix B.

Evaluation Strategies

Examples of existing or planned evaluation and assessment strategies to provide sound performance measurement through program evaluation include:

Data Coordination and Burden Reduction

The Department is also taking steps to ensure that evaluations and performance measurement avoid data duplication and meet high standards of data quality.

Internal coordination. Several initiatives for internal coordination are underway. Two key ones include:

Coordination with other federal agencies. Program offices have worked with evaluation and statistics agencies in other federal departments--for example, using the Department of Health and Human Services' Monitoring the Future survey for data useful for drug prevention, the National Science Foundation's data on minority participation in science and engineering, and Labor's National Longitudinal Study of Youth for school to work and other topics involving youth follow-up.

ED's Inspector General. The Inspector General will be conducting independent reviews of the reliability and validity of selected performance measures.

Examples of Program Evaluations

The Department has an active evaluation program involving several offices and coordinated by the Planning and Evaluation Service. Most current evaluations relate closely to the goals and objectives of this plan. Future ones will align even more closely and will fill in knowledge gaps where possible. In addition, data from national assessments, in particular the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and national statistical studies are key sources for strategic directions and indicator data.

For more detailed descriptions of the evaluations, statistical studies, assessments, and other data systems that support the goals, objectives, and indicators of this plan, see Appendix B.

Program evaluations that support this plan include:

Goals 1 and 2 (K-12) Outcome Indicators

Goal 1: Helping All Students Achieve to Challenging Standards.

Goal 2. Build a Solid Foundation for Learning for All Children.

Goal 3. Ensure Access to Postsecondary Education and Lifelong Learning.

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