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Improving Special Education Services (ISES)
January 29-30, 2007
Workgroup Recommendations

Workgroup #1

Indicator 1: Graduation
Indicator 2: Drop Out


  1. 2 Diplomas/1 certificate of Comp.
    -Standard-all course requirements
    -CAHSEE Compliant diploma
  2. Support CTE Career Development pathways
  3. Students with disabilities taught by teachers with content expertise accomplished by:
    -Provide incentives
    -Provide professional development for teachers, paras, and after-school staff
  4. Provide disaggregated data and analysis (general education and special education) that will lead to an understanding of why students drop-out or graduate. (Footnote: 18-21 year-olds leaving school should not be considered dropouts...past 12th grade)
  5. Identify and support best practice (scientific, research-based) programs and provide technical assistance to districts.
    -Parent/professional partnerships
    -SB 65
  6. Enhance SB 1209 Personnel Management Assistance Teams
    -Recruitment, hiring, retention of teachers in high need areas
    -Professional development for enrollment projections and student programming
  7. Targeted interventions grades 7-12 to promote graduation
    -CAHSEE prep
    -After-school programs (NCLB-21st CCLC and ASES)
    -Increase counseling staff

Workgroup #2

Indicator 13: Secondary Transition
Indicator 14: Post-School


  1. Review CASEMIS Data Collection
  2. #'s of options and clarity of definitions
    -"gainfully" employed
    -supported employment
    -sheltered employment
    -"competitively" employed
    -part-time definition
    -full-time definition
  3. Be clear and inclusive
    -have the opportunity to identify service providers
    -health insurance
  4. Training of:
    -Teacher's Union
    -Administrators (Accountability)
    - real world follow
    -through with classroom supervision of providers (by admin)
    -Local Providers
  5. Systems Coordination (COP)
    -Within CDE -Outside agencies & providers
    -linking post-school outcomes with classroom activities -career assessment /exploration /interest (more depth)
    -WIA: Workforce Investment Act

Workgroup #3

Indicator 3: Statewide Assessment


A) General Education/Special Education Efforts must be Integrated and Aligned

If academic performance and proficiency are to be improved, it must involve an integrated Special and General Education effort, where initiatives piggyback on one another and where the data examined is aligned. It cannot be only a Special Education effort and make the difference that is needed.

  1. Ensure that the SPP measures are aligned with general education measures to allow for comparisons of effectiveness and to identify differences.
    • Statewide assessment
    • Suspension/expulsion
    • Post-school outcomes
    • Disproportionality
  2. Special education and general education teachers and administrators need to be trained in the same practices and using the same materials.
  3. SE and GE need to be "Piggy-backing" on each other's efforts and expertise.

B) Dissemination

Need a better plan on how to get information to the field

a. What information should be disseminated: data, materials, research-based programs and practices, improvement efforts, model sites, assessments (CMA, RtI, and revised CAPA materials), TA (services, models, and outcomes), and materials that connect curriculum to standards (such as RtI information on CDs and IRIS).

b. To who: teachers, schools, districts, IHEs/preparation program providers, families and youth, general public.

c. How: centralized clearinghouse and/or CDE website with a user-friendly interface.

C) Data-Driven Decision Making

  1. Need data to support decision-making and available funding
    • Provide individual schools with SPP indicator data on their site.
  2. One centralized place (rather than a host of different web pages) where schools and districts can go to get all the longitudinal information for their site on the many different assessment and indicators data.
    • Special education and general education data from all different data sources displayed in a user-friendly visual format.
  3. Teacher retention database (special education and general education)

D) School/District/COE/Charters Level Systems Change/RTI

  1. School site model for leadership and change.
  2. Model for system change: ongoing TA is an example of a method that is working.
  3. Ensue that training and TA is provided to school site teams (special education and general education administrators and teachers) to support them to create systems change
    • assessment
    • research-based practices
    • SE/GE collaboration
  4. Increase # of sites receiving support and expand to include more schools with greater ethnic diversity, through services such as:
    • RCAT
    • SIG TA
    • RtI
    • EIS
  5. Consider the value of SELPAs.

E) Professional Development Inservice/Preservice

  1. Special education and general education need to be trained in the same practices, methods, and materials.
  2. Administrators need to be trained in the same practices, methods, and materials as their teachers and program specialists.
  3. Recognition of experienced, highly skilled teachers/administrators is critical. Engagement of them in leadership roles within schools, districts, and the state, particularly as mentors, coaches, and trainers.
  4. Exiting survey to glean reasons for leaving field. The survey should identify the school so the information can be used for school improvement.
  5. Inclusion of SELPAs and COEs as well as districts and school sites.

Workgroup #4

Indicator 4: Suspension & Expulsion


  1. CDE and CTC need to coordinate professional training including teachers (general education and special education) and administrators for Level 1 and 2 around behavior support and suspension law and collaboration
  2. CDE needs to support and expand content related to Positive Behavioral Supports and FAA as a standard in the Teacher Induction Preparation program
  3. CDE needs to expand its website to include access to archives and PowerPoint presentation for
    -other information disseminated to SELPAs
  4. CDE must provide a definition of Suspension based upon loss of educational benefit for general education and special education
    -Define what is a day? 1 period, 1/2 day?
  5. CDE shall collect more accurate suspension data based on the definition disseminated to LEAs by CDE
  6. Parents need to be informed on the suspension process and their rights in the process
  7. CDE needs to provide a parent-friendly vehicle (video) on the suspension and expulsion process and their rights, in alternative formats, languages, etc
  8. CDE needs to fully disseminate information on the following programs:
    -RtI (behavior component)
    -other resources
  9. CDE needs to share effective practices for getting out of PI, using PBS and improving disproportionality issues
  10. CDE will require high priority schools to implement PBS training

Workgroup #5

Indicator 5: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)


  1. Work with people in Program Improvement to design inclusive models of service delivery to target and intensify instruction for ALL students
  2. Belief system needs to change - this needs to be modeled at the state and regional levels - help all educators that we need to move from away from "remediation and move to acceleration" of learning
  3. State needs mission statement for districts
  4. Build capacity around Early intervening services (EIS) - all kids are assessed and provided interventions to address their needs. This needs to be addressed at the CDE (policy level) the IHE (preservice), and the classroom (inservice)
  5. Collaborative problem solving model, including families, and general education at all levels to assess, identify and address the needs of all students
  6. Tie SPP indicators to CDE's 9 EPC- Essential Program Components
  7. Compilation (identify and share) resources:
    -models - Where is it working
    -partnerships - IHEs & LEAs working together

Workgroup #6

Indicator 6: Pre-school LRE


  1. Develop preschool "Program Standards" that include integration of LRE
    -Assessment-transition. Use data to develop "standards."
  2. Conduct an "EC Inclusive Programs Summit" to show exemplary programs, resources and train all stakeholders (IHE, LEA's, early care and education)
  3. Write a joint policy statement to blend EC and ECSE in policy, professional development, recruitment, etc.

Indicator 7: Pre-school Assessment


  1. Develop list serve for IHE Re: Desired Results and anything related to ECSE
  2. CDD collect DRDP info on a statewide level in order to have child progress data.
  3. Develop and implement a multi-year plan for comprehensive, statewide T/TA for preschool assessment and linking to curriculum and instruction.
    -Pre-service (i.e. CAPECSE, CCPPP)
    -In-service (is happening now: parents, site admin, SELPA, teachers)
    -For data reporters (SELPA level)

Indicator 12: Part C to Part B Transition


  1. Establish unique identifier for all children 0-5
  2. Use IFSP for 0-5 for:
    -Smooth transition
    -Ensuring continuity of Early Intervention Services
    -Facilitate collaboration of general education and special education teachers
    -Keeps the family as part of the actual plan

Workgroup #7

Indicator 8: Parent Involvement


  1. Continue financially supporting family involvement activities.
  2. Finish all of the FECs funding (14-32)
  3. CDE continue to affirm relationship building of families/schools at local level.
  4. Disseminate "Best Practices" (research-based) for family involvement.
  5. Add the process of mentorship system (parent leadership) utilize data bank of parent leadership (state supported on a regional level).

Workgroup #8

Indicator 9: Disproportionalality Overall
Indicator 10: Disproportionalality Disability


  1. Capture, analyze, and disseminate data based on student needs rather than by category or label.
  2. Standardize/codify use of RTI for eligibility determination
  3. Closely coordinate and integrate/align accountability and compliance processes between general education and special education including:
    -Identifying matrix to ensure implementation of systematic, exhaustive, and effective SST process
    -The addition of disproportional representation data in the PI & other state accountability processes to require SST in the compliance plan (special education is data source)
  4. Reduce/eliminate disproportionality through ensuring LRE by:
    -requiring data sharing between Special Education Division and PI
    -Including disproportionality data in PI determination
    -Identifying matrices of effective SST
    -Including SST training in SAIT requirements
    -Monitoring and supporting implementation of SST in PI schools/districts
    -Monitoring and ensuring implementation and ongoing use of effective interventions (research-based instruction)
    -Supporting (by state) student level data collection and analysis to measure effectiveness of instruction, instructional planning and p.d. through the effective implementation of periodic curriculum-based assessments.
  5. Align credentialing coursework with proven research-based practices.

Workgroup #9

Indicator 11: Eligibility Evaluation


  1. Need training for teachers and assessors to accurately identify all areas of the suspected disability and how to assess for them
  2. Replace discrepancy model with RTI with RTI guidelines
    - Need adequate training opportunities for assessors
  3. Rewrite 3030 A-J and expand to match federal (K, L, M) - 10 13 (definition of what constitutes a disability)
  4. Identify and implement the RTI effective practices being modeled around the country
  5. Address the interface between eligibility and other issues, i.e., disproportionality

Indicator 15: General Supervision


  1. Every SELPA should have an ADR grant
  2. The linkage between special education programs and general education programs
  3. Training of administrators/teachers on compliance and how to monitor compliance
  4. Adequate funding from States and Feds to do the job
  5. Better alignment of special education monitoring to P.I. and SAIT. Needs to be a one in the same process

Workgroup #10

Indicator 16: Complaints


  1. Implement and monitor the recommendations in the Schrag Report - (6 month timeline - fully implemented by 6/30/08)
  2. Publish complaints with search engine and clustering - (6/30/08 timeline)
  3. Re-design intake form for precision (to identify allegations and relevant evidence) as an instructional tool for filers - (RFI cheat sheet - 6/30/07)
  4. Provide local training to parents, attorneys, and advocates in how to file a complaint with the state - (6/30/08)
  5. Improve communication between OAH, CMM, & PSRS to minimize duplication - (6/30/07)

Indicator 17: Due Process


  1. Align all (PWN & NOI) forms with ALJ pleading requirements and render in more accessible language - (6/30/07)
  2. Provide local training to parents, attorneys, and advocates in how to file for due process - (6/30/08)
  3. Provide training for ALJ's to include pitfalls to parents of motion practice case law, disabilities, 2004 re-authorization, interventions, and services (researched data-based); trainers to include parents, attorneys, and advocates - (6/30/08)
  4. Publish findings and outcomes with good search engine - (6/30/08)

Indicator 18: Hearing Requests


  1. Hearing request training for parents to include information that resolutions are legal documents and are a part of and referenced in the current IEP, as an IEP addendum - (6/30/2008 - ongoing)
  2. Produce a required "Action Points" one-page display of all IEP services for school site implementation (6/30/07)
  3. Improved communication between LEAs and OAH regarding the disposition of the required resolution session (6/30/07)

Indicator 19: Mediation


  1. Training of mediators in special education case law, precedent, availability of services, disabilities, 2004 re-authorization of IDEA, data collection, sensitivity (6/30/08 - ongoing)
  2. Training for parents to include information that mediated agreement is a part of and is referenced in the current IEP (6/30/08 - ongoing)
  3. Produce a one-page "Action Points" for IEP implementation at school site (6/30/07)


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.