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Graphic of a check boxSpecial Education Quality Indicator Study
August 2003



Table 1:  Program Areas and Sub-Areas Assessed by the Program Survey
  1. Program Design: The instructional setting for service delivery (integrated vs. separate special education classes), including the extent to which related services are delivered in the classroom.
  1. Governance/Management: The extent to which programs a) have a well-defined vision that conveys high expectations for academic success; b) have in place policies and procedures that govern all areas of program operations; and c) involve key stakeholders -- board of directors members, parents, staff, community agencies, policymakers, etc., in program planning, decision-making and program design.
  1. Climate: The extent to which programs a) maintain a safe, orderly environment conducive to learning; b) implement curricular and instructional activities that affirm and respect cultural/linguistic diversity; and c) have a “professional culture” that supports ongoing communication among stakeholders, frequent staff collaboration and planning and staff autonomy in instructional decisions; and d) the degree to which chief stakeholders support and value the program.
  1. Program Evaluation Procedures: The degree to which the programs a) conduct systematic evaluations/self-assessments and b) provide evaluation reports to key audiences.
  1. Qualifications of Staff: The extent to which the program a) is staffed by qualified professionals who have appropriate educational degrees and specialized credentials; and b) the extent of staff continuity (low turnover).
  1. Professional Development: The content and intensity of professional development activities; and the extent to which programs use more “professionalized” forms of staff development such as mentoring, study groups and workshop series (as opposed to stand-alone workshops).
  1. Staff Evaluations: The extent to which programs conduct formal and informal staff evaluations using various strategies such as observation by peers, parent feedback, administrator observation and self-evaluation.
Family Relationships
  1. Family Involvement: The extent to which programs a) regularly communicate with families; b) use a variety of strategies to promote parent involvement; and c) involve parent in program activities - conferences, curriculum design, classroom volunteer work, parent workshops and child assessment.
  1. Family Services: The extent that the program provides opportunities to build parents’ skills/capacities such as linkages to parent education programs, social services, health care, counseling and family-to-family networking, etc.
Teaching and Learning
  1. Curriculum: The extent to which programs a) use a skill-oriented curriculum; b) support the curriculum through appropriate and up-to-date materials; and c) the degree to which staff have a high level of understanding of the curriculum.
  1. Instruction: The extent to which programs a) follow a daily routine; b) use a variety of learning formats and materials that build on children’s interests; and c) use methods of behavior management that emphasize problem-solving and social skills instruction.
  1. Staff Collaboration: The extent to which special education and related services professionals collaborate with each other on various instructional matters.
  1. Assessment: The extent to which programs frequently assess children in a variety of skill areas, using a variety of strategies.
  1. Agency Collaboration: The extent that programs collaborate with community agencies and service providers and have formal, written agreements for doing so.
  1. Relationship with CPSEs: The extent to which programs have procedures in place for communication with CPSEs, including processes for submitting timely reports; and the frequency with which programs notify CPSEs of child progress.
  1. Transition Strategies: The extent that programs use a variety of strategies to facilitate the transition of children from preschool to school-age programs; and the quality of transition-related training provided to staff.


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