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Detailed Information on the
Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Assessment

Program Code 10001029
Program Title Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
Department Name Department of Education
Agency/Bureau Name Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2005
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 50%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $2,887
FY2008 $2,935
FY2009 $2,835

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Complete the two program studies and utilizing those results to assess and improve program performance.

Action taken, but not completed The Department recently released an interim report on the implementation of the teacher quality provisions of NCLB based on data collected from two studies -- the Study of State Implementation of Accountability and Teacher Quality under No Child Left Behind and the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind. This interim report was released in the summer of 2007 and the final report will be released in late 2008.
2007

In fiscal year 2008, take monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement actions to ensure that States are reporting accurately on and implementing the requirement that teachers be highly qualified.

Action taken, but not completed The Department began the second round of monitoring for the program in June of 2007 and is reviewing and providing feedback on States' efforts to report on and implement the requirement. The Department addressed the highly qualified teacher reporting requirement at the program's State directors' meeting in March 2008. By the end of the fiscal year, the Department will determine whether and what additional enforcement actions are needed.
2007

In fiscal year 2008, take monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement actions to ensure that States are reporting accurately on and ensuring an equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers in high- and low-poverty schools.

Action taken, but not completed The Department began the second round of monitoring for the program in June of 2007 and is reviewing and providing feedback on States' efforts to report on and implement the equitable distribution requirement. The Department also addressed the requirement at the program's State directors' meeting in March 2008. By the end of the fiscal year, the Department will decide whether and what additional enforcement actions are needed.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Develop a meaningful program efficiency measure and setting targets for the metric.

Completed The Department has established baseline data and targets for the program's efficiency measure. The Department developed this efficiency measure to ensure that program staff provide feedback to States very soon after they are monitored so that States and schools districts can quickly begin to improve their management of the program.
2006

Continuing to monitor State and school district implementation of the program and their progress toward meeting the highly qualified teacher requirements.

Completed The Department has completed the first round of State monitoring for the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program. The Department uses monitoring to determine the quality and accuracy of State data, how well States are implementing the program, and how the State is using program funds.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term/Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of core academic elementary classes taught by highly qualified teachers in high-poverty schools.


Explanation:Replaces old measure "Percentage of core academic classes classes taught by highly qualified teachers in high-poverty schools" because the Department collects data by school level.

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 90
2006 100 90
2007 100 94
2008 100 June 2009
2009 100
2010 100
2011 100
2012 100
2013 100
2014 100
Long-term/Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in elementary schools.


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2004 89 91
2005 90 93
2006 95 94
2007 100 96
2008 100 June 2009
2009 100
2010 100
2011 100
2012 100
2013 100
2014 100
Long-term/Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in secondary schools.


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2004 85 88
2005 85 89
2006 92 91
2007 100 93
2008 100 June 2009
2009 100
2010 100
2011 100
2012 100
2013 100
2014 100
Long-term Output

Measure: Percentage of teachers in LEAs that receive program funds who participate in professional development activities that meet the requirements of Section 9101(34) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2010 90
2012 95
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Number of days it takes the Department of Education to send a monitoring report to States after monitoring.


Explanation:State monitoring reports contain the Department's findings and recommended actions on State progress toward achieving highly qualified teacher status. Given that the vast majority of teachers need to be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year, the more time a State has to address such findings, the better the chance that it will meet the target date. Decreasing the turnaround time for the monitoring report will help to improve program effectiveness. The Department did not conduct any monitoring visits in fiscal year 2007 because program staff were working with States on the revised State plans and preparing for the second round of monitoring visits.

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 83
2006 82 37
2007 81 Not Collected
2008 36 December 2008
2009 35
2010 34
Long-term/Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of core academic secondary classes taught by highly qualified teachers in high-poverty schools.


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 84
2006 100 86
2007 100 89
2008 100 June 2009
2009 100
2010 100
2011 100
2012 100
2013 100
2014 100

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: Purpose is "to provide grants to State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State institutions of higher education (SAHEs), and eligible partnerships to increase student academic achievement [by] improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of "highly qualified" teachers in the classroom and highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools; and hold LEAs and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement." In addition, the program requires LEAs to demonstrate: (1) annual progress in ensuring that all teachers teaching in core academic subjects within the State are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year; and (2) annual increases in the percentage of teachers who receive high-quality professional development.

Evidence: Section 2101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Section 9101 of NCLB defines "highly qualified teacher" as a teacher who is fully certified by the State where he/she teaches, has at least a bachelor's degree, and, for new secondary school teachers, demonstrates competency in the subject matter he/she teaches in by passing a State proficiency test and completing an academic major in said field.

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: A number of well-designed studies indicate that teacher quality has a powerful effect on student academic achievement. Students who are in the classrooms of effective teachers can achieve at a full grade level ahead of students assigned to weak teachers. The program also targets high-poverty LEAs; research shows that high-poverty LEAs have fewer highly qualified teachers than do low-poverty LEAs.

Evidence: For example, Sanders, W.L. & Rivers, J.C. (1996), Cumulative and Residual Effects of Teachers on Future Student Academic Achievement (Knoxville: University of Tennessee). Also, Craig D. Jerald, All Talk, No Action: Putting an End to Out-of-Field Teaching, The Education Trust, 2002.

YES 20%
1.3

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: This program is the "driver" for the NCLB objective of ensuring that all teachers of the core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. The program differs from other Federal teacher quality programs and State and local programs in several ways: (1) It provides leverage for reform through the "highly qualified" requirement, which in the past has not been a component of State and local professional development programs; (2) Unlike ED's smaller, competitive teacher quality programs, it provides funds to all LEAs; and, (3) By law, program activities must be based on research-based strategies. Finally, this program differs from the professional development component of the Title I program because it serves teachers in all schools, not just those that have persistent problems and are in need of corrective action.

Evidence: Other teacher quality program include: Mathmatics and Science Partnerships (ESEA, Title II, Part B); Troops-to-Teachers (ESEA, Title II, Part C, Subpart 1, Chapter A); and Transition to Teaching (ESEA, Title II, Part C, Subpart 1, Chapter B).

YES 20%
1.4

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: There is no evidence indicating that the structure of the program is a flawed design for the program. The program has a supplement/not supplant provision, which prevents States and localities from using program funds in lieu of their own funds for teacher quality activities.

Evidence: The supplement/not supplant provision is Section 2113(f) of the ESEA.

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Funds are awarded to States and school districts by formulas that are partly based on each State and LEA's relative poverty share. LEAs are also required to conduct a needs assessment to ensure proper targeting of program funds. During monitoring visits, the Department has been making sure that States are using data to determine amounts for LEA subgrants.

Evidence: The LEAs' needs assessments require LEAs to consider where funds are most needed to ensure that teachers are highly qualified and students can meet challenging academic standards.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The Department has developed two long-term performance measures for the program: the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in all schools, and the percentage of professional development that school districts provide that they report is high quality. Baseline data are available for both measures.

Evidence:  

YES 14%
2.2

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: The first long-term performance measure has a target that all classes will be taught by highly qualified teachers by the end of 2005-2006; it will be quite challenging for States and LEAs to get all teachers highly qualified, given what we know about the number of teachers who are not currently highly qualified. The second long-term performance measure has a target of 95 percent.

Evidence:  

YES 14%
2.3

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: The Department has developed three annual performance measures: (1) the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in high-poverty schools; (2) the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in secondary schools; and (3) the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in elementary schools. Baseline data are available for each of these measures. Further, ED recently established an efficiency measure to assess the operational efficiency of State monitoring visits. ED and OMB will continue to explore an additional efficiency measure more closely related to program outcomes.

Evidence: Data for the annual performance measures are collected through ED's Consolidated State Performance Report. Baseline data for the efficiency measure will be available in Fall, 2006.

YES 14%
2.4

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: All three performance measures have targets that all classes will continue to be taught by highly qualified teachers well beyond 2005-2006.

Evidence:  

YES 14%
2.5

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: SEAs generally submit performance reports, containing full and accurate data, on time. Although not all States are providing complete data, the Department is working with all States to help them provide complete information by ensuring that they understand definitions and what is needed.

Evidence: The Department determines how well partners are meeting the program's goals through implementation studies, meetings with State coordinators, monitoring visits, and compliance audit reports that look at local needs assessments.

YES 14%
2.6

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The Department is currently conducting two studies, the Study of State Implementation of No Child Left Behind and the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind, that look at accountability and teacher quality provisions under No Child Left Behind. Part of each study focuses on the system that Improving Teacher Quality State Grants funds support, including professional development, teacher recruitment, and teacher retention. In addition to the two studies, the Department is also conducting a survey of districts' use of Improving Teacher Quality State Grants funds, their needs assessments, and the types of professional development that they are offering and which teaches are receiving it. The survey uses a sample of 800 school districts.

Evidence: Reports of the Study of State Implementation and the National Longitudinal Study are due in early 2006 and the fall of 2007. The report of the district survey should be available in the winter of 2006.

YES 14%
2.7

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: Because of budget contraints, the Administration is requesting level funding, rather than a budget linked to achievement of specific objectives. However, ED has satisfied the second part of this question in that ED's budget submissions show the full cost of the program (including S&E). ED's 07 integrated budget and performance plan includes the program's annual and long-term goals.

Evidence:  

NA  %
2.8

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: The program has ambitious long-term and annual performance measures, and the results will help the Department with strategic planning for the program. In addition, this program has an internal strategic plan that provides a framework for monitoring grantee performance and program management. For example, the Department provides technical assistance to States with their HOUSSE definitions. The Department has also changed performance measures for the program to focus on the percentage of classes taught by highly qualified teachers rather than the percentage of hgihly qualified teachers. Finally, the Dpartment frequently updates program guidance to help meet the Department's strategic planning goals.

Evidence: The internal strategic plan includes a workplan, a plan to identify high-risk local grantees, strategies for monitoring and data collection/oversight, and milestones.

YES 14%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: The Department is currently overseeing a survey conducted by an outside, independent evaluator of a sample of school districts that provides performance data. In addition, the States' annual consolidated reports and Title I State Report Cards also provide data that the Department uses to improve the management of the program; Westat, the contractor, will be validating the data. These State reports are generally timely and complete. In some cases, States provided incompete or incorrect data, but the Department s working with them to correct these problems.

Evidence: Performance data for FY 2004 became available in the spring of 2005.

YES 14%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: ED's managers, in their employee performance plans, are held accountable for achieving tangible indicators of success (such as meeting GPRA performance measure targets) in reaching program goals and supporting the Department's Strategic Plan.

Evidence:  

YES 14%
3.3

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: Funds are obligated within the timeframes set out by Department schedules and used for the purposes intended. The Department reserves some funds for program evaluation, which are obligated based on an evaluation plan.

Evidence: Evidence indicates that States are drawing funds down at an acceptable rate.

YES 14%
3.4

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: ED has recently adopted an efficiency measures to assess the operational efficiency of State monitoring visits. Shortening the time between the visit and ED's initial report as well as between ED's report will ensure that technical assistance, guidance, and other next steps will respond to immediate needs and allow for a more efficient use of time and resources.

Evidence: Baseline data for the efficiency measures will be available in Fall, 2006.

YES 14%
3.5

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: The program collaborates and coordinates with the Title I program and with other teacher quality programs, including Mathematics and Science Partnerships and Title II of the Higher Education Act, in the Department. For example, the program has had joint meetings of the State directors for the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants and Mathematics and Science Parnerships programs, and the Department has encouraged States to hold joint meetings and to conduct joint grant competitions.

Evidence: For example, the Teacher Quality Policy Group meets regularly to discuss teacher quality issues in programs authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Department's guidance for the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program provides information about the other programs. In addition, the Department has developed common performance measures for teacher quality programs.

YES 14%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Recent agency-wide audits have not identified deficiencies in the financial management of this program. Through monitoring protocols and visits to States, the Department is working with States to resolve any data, carryover, or allocation problems that States may have.

Evidence:  

YES 14%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: While material internal management deficiencies have not been identified for this program, the program has put in place a system to identify potential problems. For example, the program has identified occasional errors in States' allocation of funds to LEAs, such as the use of incorrect data to make allocations and confusion about allocating funds to charter schools. To address these concerns, the Department has taken systematic steps through audits and monitoring visits to make sure that States use proper allocation procedures to get funds to districts.

Evidence: Program staff monitor excessive drawdowns of funds to prevent high-risk situations.

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: Baseline data were established in FY 2004 for one of the long-term measures -- the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in all schools (86 percent). For the second long-term measure -- the percentage of professional development that school districts provide that they report is high quality -- the percentage increased from 68 percent in 2003 to 84 percent in 2004.

Evidence: The Department has recently changed the performance measures for this program. The measures now measure (1) the percentage of classrooms taught by highly qualified teachers rather than the percentage of highly qualified teachers and (2) the percentage of professional development that school districts provide that they report is high quality.

YES 25%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Baseline data were established in FY 2003. In 2004, States exceeded their performance goals for two of the three annual measures. For the third measure (the percentage of core academic classes taught by highly qualified teachers in high-poverty schools), States did not meet the target of 85 percent; however, the percentage of core academic classes taught by a highly qualified teacher increased from 74 percent in 2003 to 81 percent in 2004.

Evidence: The Department has recently changed the performance measures for this program. The measures now measure the percentage of classrooms taught by highly qualified teachers rather than the percentage of highly qualified teachers.

YES 25%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: While ED has established an operational efficiency measure for this program, baseline data is not yet available for setting targets or determining efficiency. ED and OMB will continue to explore establishing another efficiency measure more closely related to program outcomes.

Evidence: Baseline data for the efficiency measures will be available in Fall, 2006.

NO 0%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: No data are available for comparable programs. The Department has developed common measures for teacher quality programs.

Evidence:  

NA  %
4.5

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: The first reports of the Study of State Implementation of No Child Left Behind and the National Longitudinal Study of No Child Left Behind will not be available until early 2006, so no data are yet available to determine if the program is effective and achieving results.

Evidence:  

NO 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 50%


Last updated: 09062008.2005SPR