ERIC Number: ED483253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
No Child Left Behind Act: Improvements Needed in Education's Process for Tracking States' Implementation of Key Provisions. Report to Congressional Committees. GAO-04-734
Hickok, Eugene W.
US Government Accountability Office
To provide information about states' efforts to track implementation of key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), this study examined: state goals for student proficiency and their implications for whether schools will meet those goals; factors that facilitated or impeded state and school district implementation efforts; and how the Department of Education (Education) supported state efforts and approved state plans to meet student proficiency requirements. Researchers analyzed data from plans which all states submitted to Education and that Education approved by June 2003; obtained information from officials in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico about the number of schools they had identified as meeting annual progress goals and their school and district characteristics in 2002-03; visited 4 states and 6 districts within the states, conducting phone interviews with officials in another 17 states to obtain data on factors that facilitated and impeded implementation of student proficiency requirements; reviewed documentation Education provided the states; reviewed Education regulations and guidance; interviewed Education officials about their efforts to assist states in developing plans and their process for approving plans; reviewed the status of Education's approval of states' standards and assessments systems that were required to comply with the 1994 Elementary and Secondary Act; and interviewed officials from national education organizations and other experts in the area. States varied in how they established proficiency goals and measured student progress. State and school district officials said their leadership's commitment to improving student achievement and technical assistance provided by an Education contractor facilitated implementation of NCLBA requirements. Tight timeframes for determining school progress and problems with student data impeded implementation. Education is working on efforts to help states improve their data systems, such as monitoring state data quality policies. Education helped states develop their plans for improving student proficiency, and by June 10, 2003 approved, fully or conditionally, all plans. Education asked assessment experts to review all plans and provide states with on-site evaluations. Education has developed guidance for its review and approval of states' expanded standards and assessments. Appendixes contain methods to establish starting points; percentage of schools that met state goals in 2002-03; state plan requirements; comments from Education; and GAO contacts and staff acknowledgements.
Descriptors: Data Collection, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, State Standards, Academic Standards, Program Implementation, Technical Assistance, School Districts, Academic Achievement, State Departments of Education
U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; TDD: 202-512-2537; Fax: 202-512-6061.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.