Ed_banner_left Ed_banner_right
U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

State performance plans and data collection (Sec. 300.601)

Comment: One commenter expressed concern that Sec. 300.601(a)(3) and (b)(1) over-regulate by requiring measurable and rigorous targets beyond those established in the Act. The commenter expressed concern that this would result in additional data collection and analyses and require substantial administrative staff time and additional costs at the State and local levels. The commenter stated that, while the Department may monitor any area and review any data, it is unnecessary to establish additional non-statutory indicators and targets.

Discussion: Section 300.601(a)(3), consistent with section 616(a)(3) of the Act, requires the Secretary to establish indicators to adequately measure performance in the monitoring priority areas. Under section 616(b)(2)(A) of the Act, States are required to establish measurable and rigorous targets for the indicators established under the monitoring priority areas described in section 616(a)(3). The Department established indicators only in the three monitoring priority areas listed in new Sec. 300.600(d), consistent with section 616(a)(3) of the Act. Given that States are required to establish targets for indicators established under the monitoring priority areas and indicators were established only under the three statutory monitoring priority areas, the Secretary is not requiring measurable and rigorous targets in areas beyond those established in the Act. We disagree with the commenter and do not believe the Department has over-regulated in this area.

Changes: None.

Comment: A few commenters recommended changing Sec. 300.601 to specify that States must provide an opportunity for public comment in developing the State performance plan.

Discussion: We agree that the public should be represented in developing State performance plans. In note 253-258 of the Conf. Rpt. No. 108-779, p. 232, Congress stated its expectation that State performance plans, indicators, and targets be developed with broad stakeholder input and public dissemination. OSEP Memo 05-12 requires States to provide information in the overview section of the State performance plan, clarifying how the State obtained broad input from stakeholders on the State performance plan. Furthermore, Sec. Sec. 300.167 through 300.169 clarify the State's responsibility to establish and maintain an advisory panel, whose membership consists of broad and diverse representation, to advise States on many issues, including developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary. Accordingly, we believe that no additional clarification is needed.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter expressed concern that the requirement in Sec. 300.601(a)(3) reflects a "one-size-fits-all" approach that is not in the Act because it requires the Secretary to establish indicators for the State performance plan and annual performance reports and requires States to collect data on each of the indicators.

Discussion: Section 616(a)(3) of the Act requires the Secretary to establish quantifiable indicators in each of the monitoring priority areas, and qualitative indicators, as needed, to adequately measure performance. Section 300.601(a) reflects this requirement. The requirement that each State establish measurable and rigorous targets for the indicators established by the Secretary and collect relevant data is set forth in section 616(b)(2)(B) of the Act. We do not agree that this presents a one-size-fits-all approach because States set their own targets for indicators such as graduation, dropout, and performance on assessments, and identify improvement strategies specific to the unique circumstances of their State. In addition, OSEP Memo 05-12 includes the indicators established by the Secretary and also indicates that States have the flexibility to establish their own indicators, in addition to the indicators established by the Secretary.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended amending Sec. 300.601 to specify that, as part of the State's performance plan, measurable and rigorous targets are only required for the indicators established by the Secretary and are not required for any additional indicators established by the State.

Discussion: Pursuant to the guidance in OSEP Memo 05-12, the Secretary has established indicators under the three monitoring priority areas in new Sec. 300.600(d), consistent with section 616(a)(3) of the Act. States may choose to add additional indicators if there are other areas the State wishes to improve. If the State adds indicators to the State Performance Plan, the State must include measurable and rigorous targets for each additional indicator because the purpose of the State performance plan is to evaluate the State's efforts to implement the statutory requirements and describe how the State will improve. States are free to have additional indicators that are not included in the State performance plan and these indicators would not need to have measurable and rigorous targets.

Changes: None.