Better Information Needed for Oversight and Evaluation of Selected Elementary and Secondary Education Programs

PAD-78-35: Published: May 30, 1978. Publicly Released: May 30, 1978.

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A review to determine the Senate Committee on Human Resources' needs for oversight information on selected elementary and secondary education programs focused on the information currently provided to the committee, information available from the federal educational community, information available from state educational agencies, and information available from local educational agencies. Information collected during 1976 and 1977 covered a wide range of descriptive information, financial data, and performance indexes.

More uniformity is needed in education programs and budgetary presentations. There are several varying lists and structures for programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Each list or structure serves a purpose that influences its form, but several appear to be justified only because of different information requirements of various users. Information users should attempt to move toward uniformity of list or structure; where this is not possible, easily usable cross-references should be developed and made available. Also, there needs to be more uniformity in the terms and their definitions used in reports to Congress on education programs. Four alternative approaches to providing the committee with oversight information are: (1) comprehensive data packages supplied to the committee; (2) selected data reported to the committee and the remainder retained to be available upon request; (3) selected data obtained by the Education Division and reported to the committee; or (4) maintain existing reporting systems.

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