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TEA Home Balanced Scorecard

TEA has developed a Balanced Scorecard to carry out and communicate its philosophy of leadership and accountability. The Balanced Scorecard is a performance-based, results-oriented management tool that allows employees, managers, stakeholders, and the public to focus on the agency's priority performance outcomes and the relationship between the strategies that underlie and are deployed to achieve those outcomes. The basic idea behind the Balanced Scorecard, as developed in the private sector, is that indicators of financial performance, by themselves, are not enough to analyze and determine an organization's ability to achieve its measures of success. In state government, this translates into the idea that a narrow focus on program outcomes does not tell the full story of the agency's ability to achieve policy.

In TEA, the Balanced Scorecard approach to performance management is grounded on two ideas. The first is that a priority goal must be established to ensure focus among agency employees and functions. The second is that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the achievement of that goal and the quality of employees hired, business processes put in place, support for educators and students, and accountability for performance.

The underlying principles of the agency's Balanced Scorecard are shown in the following chart.

TEA Balanced Scorecard underlying priciples
These cause-and-effect relationships define the goals, objectives, and strategies through which the agency achieves policy goals. It helps managers and policymakers identify strengths and troubleshoot potential problems. As an example of cause and effect in the area of program leadership, success in achieving the priority policy outcome - increasing the high school completion rate - is tied to improved student performance in programs that meet special needs, which is tied to availability and use of educator professional development activities, which is tied to the agency's ability to fund the programs effectively. If the outcome was not met, then managers and policymakers could track back to see if the component causes and effects were meeting their performance targets. On the other hand, if one of the components was not met, managers and policymakers could develop predictions of the impact of the missed performance target on the high school completion rate.

As another example, in the area of operational excellence, increasing the high school completion rate is tied to the number of high risk districts that improve their performance from the prior year, which is tied to the ability of the agency to implement an effective monitoring system, which depends on the ability of the agency to recruit and retain employees in the monitoring and information systems divisions.

Previous agency strategic plans did not support this level of detailed analysis. In those plans, it was difficult to identify policy priorities or to determine how they would be achieved. In the Balanced Scorecard, once the priority of increasing the high school completion rate has been identified, it becomes easier to achieve alignment of strategies and measures to support the achievement of that priority. As a result, the agency has streamlined its budget structure. This streamlining has added clarity, by describing priorities, reducing the number of strategies, and eliminating measures that did not impact the priority outcome. It also facilitated the tie between funding and function and function to employee focus on the overarching goal.

The agency's role in education performance and policy is clearly described in the Balanced Scorecard. TEA submitted this scorecard as its structure for the 2003-2007 strategic plan.

The system of record that tracks the data on a quarterly and/or annual basis is our Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) system. We have developed a summary level TEA Balanced Scorecard. Please click on the link to see a view of this system with a legend that describes which measures are on target, above target, and below target. Also please note that this is simply a static graphic (.gif) file and no links are active at this time.

At some point in the future, we plan to provide a link for outside users to access the actual system with the ability to drill down and see all Legislative measures including definitions and history for each legislative measure. At this time, we have attached a sample Crystal Report (.pdf format) that includes the history of the measures we included in a summary level TEA Balanced Scorecard.

Please contact us if you have any questions: stratplan@tea.state.tx.us

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