Federal

GAO Finds U.S. Agencies Can’t Keep Track Of Programs Abroad

By Jessica L. Tonn — April 17, 2007 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Federal agencies must do a better job of coordinating and evaluating their efforts to support education overseas if they are to be effective, the Government Accountability Office concludes in a recent report.

“From 2001 to 2006, there was no governmentwide mechanism to facilitate interagency collaboration, and, as a result, we identified instances where agencies missed opportunities to collaborate and maximize U.S. resources,” says the 75-page document, which analyzes programs in more than 100 countries sponsored by the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Defense, Labor, and State; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Peace Corps; and the Millennium Challenge Corp., a government corporation that works to reduce global poverty.

“Foreign Assistance: Enhanced Coordination and Better Methods to Assess the Results of U.S. International Basic Education Efforts Are Needed” is posted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

During that period, the GAO found, the federal government spent more than $2.2 billion on international ventures specifically targeted at education and an estimated $1 billion on international programs, such as the USDA’s Food for Education and the Peace Corps, that include an education component among other objectives.

But “without effective coordination, donors cannot easily monitor or assess the host government’s progress toward achieving international goals, such as Education for All by 2015, one of State-USAID’s strategic goals,” the report says. The goal of Education for All is universal primary education eight years from now.

Output Results

According to a letter of response from Sid L. Kaplan, the State Department’s acting assistant secretary for resource management and chief financial officer, the department’s director of foreign assistance has begun to address the issue of coordination across federal agencies. At the time of the GAO review, however, officials from several agencies said their respective groups had not been contacted about participating in such coordination.

In addition, the report calls for agencies to improve methods for tracking improvement in educational quality as a result of the federal programs. The current evaluation system relies too heavily on figures, such as the number of schools built or students enrolled, says the GAO, the watchdog for Congress.

Instead, the authors suggest that agencies look to “output measures, such as the numbers of U.S. programs designed to improve curriculum and teacher training, and to develop and validate student tests and outcome measures, such as literacy and numeracy assessments of student achievement.”

A version of this article appeared in the April 18, 2007 edition of Education Week as GAO Finds U.S. Agencies Can’t Keep Track of Programs Abroad


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal New Federal Team to Work on Puerto Rico School Improvement, Oversight
The Puerto Rico Education Sustainability Team will focus on creating better learning environments and improving financial management.
3 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits the Emilio Delgado School in Corozal on June 30, 2021 during a visit to Puerto Rico.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits the Emilio Delgado School in Corozal on June 30, 2021 during a visit to Puerto Rico.
Teresa Canino Rivera/GDA via AP
Federal Pandemic Tests Limits of Cardona's Collaborative Approach as Education Secretary
He's sought the image of a veteran educator among former peers, but COVID has forced him to take a tough stance toward some state leaders.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter speak to Mia Arias, 10, during their visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter speak to Mia Arias, 10, during a visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal White House Launches Hispanic Education Initiative Led by Miguel Cardona
President Joe Biden said his administration intends to address the "systemic causes" of educational disparities faced by Hispanic students.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona writes down and draws positive affirmations on poster board with students during his visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits students in New York City at P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school in the Bronx last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP