Race to the Top:

Survey of State Education Agencies' Capacity to Implement Reform (GAO-15-316SP, April 2015), an E-supplement to GAO-15-295

GAO-15-316SP: Published: Apr 13, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2015.

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This e-publication supplements our report, RACE TO THE TOP: Education Could Better Support Grantees and Help Them Address Capacity Challenges (GAO-15-295). The purpose of this e-publication is to provide information from a web-based survey of state educational agencies.(1) The state survey was designed to obtain information on capacity challenges related to implementation of Race to the Top (RTT) education reform efforts. Specifically, we asked questions about states' capacity to implement RTT, the support received to do so, and efforts to build and sustain capacity for RTT reform, among other things. For the purposes of this survey, capacity was defined as the ability to successfully support, oversee, and implement reform efforts. It includes the following types of capacity:

• Organizational Capacity: the extent to which an organization is prepared to manage and implement grants, including having the appropriate leadership, management, and structure to efficiently and effectively implement the program and adapt as needed.

• Human Capital Capacity: the extent to which an organization has sufficient staff, knowledge, and technical skills to effectively meet its program goals.

• Financial Capacity: the extent to which an organization has sufficient financial resources to administer or implement the grant.

• Stakeholder Capacity: the extent to which an organization has sufficient support from its stakeholders, including their authority and commitment to execute reform efforts.

The state survey was conducted from May through July 2014, and was administered to all 19 states that received RTT grants, with a 100 percent final response rate. Survey results in this e-publication are presented in aggregate form so that an individual state's responses cannot be viewed. To view the responses to each question, click on the question number. After viewing the responses to each question, click on the "x" in the upper right corner of your screen to close that window and return to the questionnaire. We excluded responses to open-ended narrative questions. See the full report (GAO-15-295) for a more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology as well as a discussion of the survey results.

We conducted our work from November 2013 to April 2015 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

(1) We also conducted a separate survey of school districts that received RTT funds. See GAO, Race to the Top: Survey of School Districts' Capacity to Implement Reform (GAO-15-317SP, April 2015), an E-supplement to GAO-15-295.

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