Office for Civil Rights Annual Report to Congress FY 2003

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Measuring OCR's Work

OCR's current performance indicators measure timeliness of case processing and program outputs, such as percentages of OCR-directed technical assistance and resource materials for recipients and parents. These indicators address only a portion of OCR’s enforcement activities, and we are collecting data and working to develop additional indicators to reflect more fully the work that we do.

OMB and Congress have each recognized our indicator on case processing—that 80 percent of our complaints are to be resolved within 180 days—as a very useful measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of our complaint resolution process. Timeliness is critical to students and parents in the resolution of civil rights issues and is an indicator of positive case outcomes. In FY 2003, OCR resolved 91 percent of its complaints within 180 days, as compared to FY 2002 when 89 percent were resolved within the 180-day timeframe; this is one of the highest annual complaint resolution rates since OCR began tracking this data in the 1970s.

To measure progress in achieving objectives in OCR’s Annual Program Plan, the new Case Management System (CMS) collects available outcome information once case monitoring is complete. Implementation of the CMS began in 2003. Once the system is well populated, we will be in a position to develop other measures of OCR’s effectiveness in addition to those measures of timeliness of case processing and provision of technical assistance already in place. The CMS is expected to be fully operational by the end of FY 2004.

"Now it’s up to us to stay focused on the task and to do whatever it takes to help every child learn, so no child is left behind."

Rod Paige
Secretary of Education
February 26, 2003


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