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Improving Special Education Services

December 3, 2012

Discussion Group Descriptions


Purpose of the Discussion Group

The purpose of the discussion group is to generate and evaluate need statements in each of the four areas below. The ISES and the California Department of Education (CDE) will use these need statements to identify priorities and develop improvement plans for the Annual Performance Report (APR) and State Performance Plan (SPP) for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 APR due in February 2014 to the United States Department of Education (ED).

Discussion Groups will:

All Discussion Group topics must have at least one need statement relevant to parent engagement and personnel development.

Martin Miller, Administrator, Policy and Program Services Unit, Linda Wyatt, Consultant, and WestED staff for the LRE Contract

Based on data and the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Project identified information, participants will work to distill a consensus regarding the primary needs in the State related to Indicator 5, LRE.

The Discussion Group will:

Alison Greenwood, Administrator, Focused Monitoring and Technical Assistance Unit IV, Jill Larson and Dan Boomer, Consultants

This group will review state level data on Indicator 13, Secondary Transition. Discussion will focus on those activities that increase positive post school outcomes for students with disabilities through compliance with Indicator 13 and training and technical assistance to build the capacity to achieve compliance across the state. The outcome is to recommend priorities and develop need statements related to Indicator 13

Patricia Skelton, Administrator and Shiyloh Becerril, Consultant

The goal of the disproportionality discussion group is to identify and prioritize statewide issues (needs) that should to be addressed by improvement activities for Indicators 4, 9, and 10 in the FFY 2012 APR and SPP due in February 2014.

This discussion group will review the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 that address the calculation and identification of disproportionate representation and significant disproportionality of special education students. These calculations align to the SPP Indicators 4A, 4B, 9, and 10. Current data on districts identified with disproportionate representation will be presented. Districts identified as having disproportionate representation are required to conduct a self-review to verify that the disproportionate representation is not a result of inappropriate identification. The results of self-reviews will be presented.

The outcome of this discussion is to:

Chris Drouin, Associate Director, Special Education Division

The goal of the Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) discussion group is to build an understanding of RDA among participants, the reasons and impacts of this move by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and discuss needs in this area.

The OSEP has solicited input through surveys, teleconferences, conference presentations and from a small workgroup staffed by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO). The report and recommendations are available on the NCEO Web site The OSEP continues to solicit input on the specific questions through its’ blog at

OSEP’s vision for the new RDA system is that all components of accountability will be aligned in a manner that best supports States in improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities, and their families.

As it is described most recently, RDA seems to focus primarily on assessment results, rather than other types of outcomes included in the SPP (i.e. graduation, drop out or post-school outcomes).

Discussion will focus on assessment results:


IDEAS that Work!

Project READ is a California Department of Education, Special Education Division project funded through a federal competitively-awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A120019) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.