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Goal 2:
Improve Student Achievement | Program Evaluations

Findings and Recommendations from
Program Evaluations, Studies, and Reports

Information that the Department uses to inform management and program improvements comes from many sources, including evaluations, studies, and reports that are Department-sponsored studies and those from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG).  The following evaluations, studies, and reports were completed during FY 2005.

Analysis of State K-3
Reading Standards and Assessments
: [PDF, 296K]
Final Report

This study of the Reading First program characterizes the relationship between state content standards and assessments and the five essential components of effective reading instruction as identified by the National Reading Panel.  Its purpose was to evaluate the degree to which state reading content standards for students in grades K-3 reflected the five essential areas and the extent to which state assessments in grades K-3 measured Reading First outcomes.  States that identified their statewide reading assessments as Reading First outcome measures tended to have more reading standards that represented the five essential elements of effective reading instruction.  Future evaluations of Reading First will examine program implementation and impact on reading outcomes.

When Schools Stay Open Late: [PDF, 296K]
The National Evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (Final Report and New Findings)

These two comprehensive, rigorous evaluations of 21st Century Learning Centers addressed implementation and impact findings on student outcomes for behavior, social development, and academic achievement; characteristics of after-school programs; and types of students most likely to benefit.  The most consistent objectives for both middle school and elementary school programs were to provide a safe environment after school and to help students improve academically.

No Child Left Behind Act: [PDF, 296K]
Most Students With Disabilities Participated in Statewide Assessments, but Inclusion Options Could Be Improved (GAO-05-618)

To improve the academic achievement of all students, the No Child Left Behind Act requires that all students, including students with disabilities, be included in statewide assessments, and that states, districts, and schools be held accountable for the academic progress of all students.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act also requires assessments.  This report determined the extent to which students with disabilities were included in statewide assessments, issues faced by states in implementing alternative assessments, and how the Department supported states in their efforts to assess students with disabilities.  For SY 2003-04, at least 95 percent of students with disabilities participated in statewide reading assessments.

Third National Even Start Evaluation: [PDF, 296K]
Follow-Up Findings From the Experimental Design Study

The Even Start Family Literacy program addresses the basic education needs of low-income families, including parents and their children from birth through age seven, by providing a unified program of family literacy services.  This study provides follow up on a previously released study that assessed the effectiveness of the Even Start program.  This report presents follow-up data collected approximately one year after the previous study. Even Start children and parents made gains on a variety of literacy assessments and other measures at follow up, but they did not gain more than children and parents who were not in the program.

No Child Left Behind Act: [PDF, 296K]
Education Could Do More to Help States Better Define Graduation Rates and Improve Knowledge about Intervention Strategies

The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to use graduation rates, along with test scores, to assess the progress of high schools in educating students. In this report, GAO examines the graduation rate definitions states use and how the Department helps states meet legal requirements; the factors affecting the accuracy of states' rates and the Department's role in ensuring accurate data; and how the Department identifies and disseminates intervention research on drop out prevention.  To enhance the reliability of graduation rate data, the Department will calculate the averaged freshman graduation rate for each state and report this rate alongside the graduation rates reported by states, provide additional policy guidance to states on ways to account for different types of students in graduation rate calculations, and review and identify research on effective intervention strategies for dropout prevention for dissemination through its What Works Clearinghouse.

Biennial Evaluation Report to Congress on the Implementation of Title III, Part A of the ESEA [PDF, 296K]

Title III, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides funds for English language instruction programs for limited English language proficient (LEP) students through the state formula grant program.  The grants support programs that help LEP students attain English proficiency, develop a high level of academic attainment in English, and meet the same standards expected of all children.  The program holds states, districts, and schools accountable for meeting state Title III annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs).  The first biennial evaluation report covers SY 2002-03 and SY 2003-04 and is a synthesis of data reported by the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  For SY 2003-04, 52 entities reported serving a total of 1,218,238 immigrant children and youth, 827,638 of whom were served under the Title III program.