Results-Driven Accountability

This is from my mailbag, but it’s something I’m excited about:  many of us have been frustrated by the way IDEA plays out in our childrens’ IEPs.  The differences between the spirit of the law and how its experienced by children with disabilities and their parents/guardians/advocates are staggering.  This new framework helps move things back to the spirit of helping each child reach his or her maximum potential:  as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network states, “for the first time, states will now be held accountable for the educational outcomes of students with disabilities, rather than simply meeting compliance indicators.”  This is huge:  it means that they are accountable for results, and may mean they’re more likely to listen when a parent argues for the option that’s been proven to be efficacious versus the district’s pleading, “don’t you think we deserve a chance to try?”

(And yes, it’s been three years, and I’m still bitter.)

***

Last week, the US Department of Education announced a new accountability framework for state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  This new accountability framework, entitled Results-Driven Accountability, includes for the first time the use of independent outcome data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and other outcome measures to evaluate state compliance with IDEA and the effectiveness of special education services. In addition, the Department has announced a $50 million Technical Assistance Center on Systemic Improvement  to provide necessary assistance and intervention for states.  For the first time, states will now be held accountable for the educational outcomes of students with disabilities, rather than simply meeting compliance indicators.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network applauds the US Department of Education for giving serious consideration toward the achievement gap facing students with disabilities and putting together this system of accountability to help promote educational success. We strongly urge the Department to continue to utilize independent outcome data from NAEP and other relevant data sources to hold states accountable for the educational achievement of students with disabilities. To quote US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn.”

It is the hope of ASAN that new regulations like this will continue to improve the education and lives of people with disabilities.   Advocates should look at their state’s performance in the Results Driven Accountability framework and utilize the Department’s assessment and the accompanying data to target advocacy around improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities in their state. State determinations are available below, and the Department’s data on educational achievement, inclusion and post-school outcomes is available on a state by state basis: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/data/report/idea/partbspap/allyears.html

[Map of State Determinations under Results Driven Accountability]

Meets Requirements Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau

Needs Assistance Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, Guam, Puerto Rico

Needs Intervention California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Texas, Bureau of Indian Education, Virgin Islands Sources: IDEA Part B Annual Performance Report Compliance Data and Results Data, including EDFacts (2012-13 School Year) and National ssessment of Educational Progress (2013 NAEP Results)

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