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Graphic of a check boxSpecial Education Quality Indicator Study
August 2003



i  The indicators were drawn from the Preschool Special Education Quality Indicator System after an extensive review and synthesis of the literature, feedback from our national advisory panel and discussions with practitioners and state level stakeholders.
ii These levels correspond to commonly accepted statistical criteria for determining educational significance.
iii We created a scale to estimate the severity of disability using the child to teacher ratio. The scale ranged from 0 to 16. A score of 16—most severe—was equivalent to a 6:1:1 or 6:1:2 special class of students with disabilities only. A score of 0 was equivalent to SEIT services. A score of 1 was equivalent to a 15:1 integrated class, where no more than 50 percent of students are students with disabilities.
iv Certification in early childhood special education is a recent requirement by the Department.
v A program was considered “high quality” if it scored one standard deviation above the mean on the total quality index. Conversely, a lower quality program scored one standard deviation below the mean.
vi A program was considered “high severity” if it scored one standard deviation above the mean on the severity index, which was equivalent to a 12:1:3 special class. Conversely, a low severity program scored one standard deviation below the mean, which was equivalent to a 12:1:1 integrated class.
vii It should be noted that New York City and suburban districts did not differ significantly in the severity of children’s disabilities.
viii Most New York State approved special education preschool programs serve multiple school districts with varying needs/resources. Therefore, it was not appropriate to identify preschool programs by specific need/resource categories when doing the analyses.
ix The table summarizes the recommended placement of children at the time of transition to school-age programs and can be read by rows and columns. For example, scanning across the New York City row indicates that 22 percent of the children enrolled in the 78 New York City preschool programs included in this analysis were recommended to be declassified at the time of transition; 22 percent were recommended for a placement in a less restrictive program; 47 percent were recommended to be placed in a similar program; and 9 percent were recommended for enrollment in a program more restrictive than their preschool program.
x These percentages are based on known placements. The school-age placement was known for 89 percent of the students.
xi The New York State Education Department is currently funding a longitudinal study to examine the provision of preschool special education services and the impact of these services on the educational achievement, emotional well-being, social adjustment and placement of students as they progress from preschool through grade 4. This study, being conducted by MGT of America, Inc., will run through 2007.
xii According to VESID records, in 1998, only 3 percent of preschool students with disabilities were declassified while in preschool; another 10 percent were declassified when transitioning to school-age programs.



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