Special Education

State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2012- Revised February 2012 - Indicator 8

Overview of the State Performance Plan Development

See Overview of the State Performance Plan (SPP) Development preceding Indicator 1.  This indicator was discussed in depth with parent groups and with NYCDOE parent coordinators. The Department reviewed the parent survey provided by the National Center for Special Education Accountability Measures (NCSEAM) and consulted with NCSEAM staff in developing the SPP for this indicator.

New York State (NYS) consulted with its Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services (CAP) to establish extended targets and improvement activities for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 and FFY 2012.  The State’s technical assistance and support networks were also involved in these discussions.

Monitoring Priority: FAPE in the LRE

Indicator 8:  Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A))

Measurement:

Percent = [(# of respondent parents who report schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities) divided by the (total # of respondent parents of children with disabilities)] times 100.

Data Source:

NYS uses a modified version of the survey developed by the National Center for Special Education Accountability Measures (NCSEAM).  NYS’ parent survey contains 25 questions. All surveys returned with at least 15 of the 25 questions answered are the denominator for the calculation. The numerator is the number of surveys with an overall positive parental involvement rating. These are surveys in which parents indicated that they “agree,” “strongly agree” or “very strongly agree” with at least 51 percent of the questions.

NYS’ Calculation:

NYS' statewide calculation uses a weighted average to control for the required minimum sample size response from every school district. This is necessary because many school districts received a response that was well above the minimum sample size required and, in other school districts, the minimum response required was not achieved. In order to give each school district’s positive response rate a proportional weight relative to their sample size in the State’s average, the percent of positive responses was weighted by the sample size of each school district.  For example, in one school district with a minimum sample size of 53, 30 surveys were returned with at least 15 questions answered with 18 of the 30 questions answered positively. This district’s weighting in the State’s average is 18/30*53 or 31.8 surveys with positive parental response.  As another example, in another school district with a minimum sample size of 87,172 surveys were returned with at least 15 questions answered with 148 of the 172 questions answered positively. This district’s weighting in the State’s average is 148/172*87 or 74.8 surveys with positive parental response. The weighting helps to achieve an equal contribution from every school district of their positive parental response rate.

Note:  When NYS reports school district data on this indicator as part of the public reporting requirement, weightings are not used.  A school district’s actual data are displayed.

Overview of Issue/Description of System or Process

State law and regulations require each school district, upon initial referral of a student to special education, to provide the parents with a copy of the State’s publication A Parents Guide to Special Education or a locally developed guide.  The State’s publication, A Parents Guide to Special Education, is available on the Department’s web site.  NYS has a mandated Procedural Safeguards Notice to ensure all parents receive the same information regarding their rights under IDEA.  In addition to the parent of the student being discussed, NYS requires an additional parent of a student with a disability to participate in meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to assist the parent in understanding the process.

As a component of focused monitoring reviews, Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) seeks input from parents of students with disabilities on various aspects of their experiences with their school district and special education programs.  Statements from parents on both the positive aspects of special education within a school district and/or the areas in need of some improvement are considered in the school improvement panning process. 

Plan to collect baseline information

Administration

School districts will be responsible to provide the parent survey to a sample of parents of students for whom their school district has individualized education program (IEP) responsibility (i.e., parents of students who are provided special education services in district-operated programs or under contract with other service providers).

School districts will be directed to employ a variety of methods to encourage parents to complete the survey, including but not limited to using paper surveys, telephone surveys, interview surveys and web-based surveys.  Parents will also be able to complete the survey through an Internet website made available by the Department.  School districts will be responsible to ensure a statistically sound return rate.

Survey Instrument

NYS will use a modified version of the survey developed by the National Center for Special Education Accountability Measures (NCSEAM). Twenty-five (25) items from NCSEAM’s Parent Survey – Part B have been selected based on the rules established for item selection to ensure reliability and validity of the use of the survey.  The directions, format and wording of some questions were revised slightly.  A copy of the survey to be used by NYS is attached at the end of this Indicator section.

Timelines for Data Collection and Reporting

For the 2005-06 school year, surveys will be disseminated to school districts no later than February 2006. Surveys returned by August 31, 2006 will be included to establish the baseline data.  Annually thereafter, school districts to be sampled in any year will receive the parent survey at the beginning of the school year and will have the entire year to survey parents.

Report Criteria

The criteria to be used to determine if a parent has rated his or her school district positively for parental involvement will be as follows:  The survey must be completed with a minimum of 15 responses and at least 51% of the responses must receive a positive rating of either agree, strongly agree, or very strongly agree.  For district reporting, districts that do not have the minimum number of parent surveys returned as indicated in the sampling methodology will be reported as not having positive parent involvement with the reason noted.

Sampling Methodology

Sampling will be used to establish the 2005-06 baseline for this indicator.  One-sixth of the school districts in NYS will be randomly selected.  This represents approximately 120 school districts each year.  The New York City (NYC) School District will be included in the sample each year.  It is the only school district in the State with a total enrollment of 50,000 or more students.

NYS has distributed all school districts among six statewide representative samples.  These six groups of school districts were tested with Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and there was no statistical difference among the six groups of school districts on the population variables described in Attachment 2.  These population variables were from the 2000 decennial census.

School districts will be expected to select a representative sample of its parents to be surveyed, using the directions provided by the State Education Department (SED).  Schools would be encouraged to over sample to ensure statistically sound response rates.  All school districts will have a choice of reporting data on all eligible students for this indicator or they may submit data on a randomly selected sample of minimum number of students using the sampling guidelines provided by the Department.  The vast majority of school districts will need to submit data on this indicator on behalf of all eligible students.  For some large school districts, if it will be less burdensome to report on a sample of students, the methodology described below (totally random sampling) is likely to produce a sample that is representative of the school district in terms of all variables, since every eligible student has the same chance as another student to be selected for the sample. 

Federal Indicator Number Eligible Population of Students From Which A Random Sample Must be Selected Minimum Number of Students in the Sample Method for Selecting Students Required Documentation
8 Every preschool and school-age student with a disability who is provided special education services in district-operated program or under contract with other service providers. Use a sampling calculator. Require 95% confidence interval and plus or minus 10% margin of error. Expect 10% response rate, so require over-sampling by 90% of minimum number identified by the calculator. Random selection using a random number table. Documentation period is seven years.
Maintain list of all eligible students, copy of Random Number Table used, beginning random number for selecting students and list of all students who were selected and their number.

SED will require that school districts maintain documentation as described below if they choose to report data on a sample of students. The totally random sampling methodology and required documentation should eliminate selection bias. School districts will be encouraged to provide surveys in a variety of ways to improve the response rate. The Department will attempt to prevent missing data by first describing precisely what the State needs to collect, providing technical assistance and then following up with school districts to request missing data.  The completeness of data collection will improve after the first year and will continue to improve as long as requirements remain unchanged.  All issues of confidentiality will be handled by in accordance with the rules and procedures in FERPA.  The Department will also guard against divulging personally identifiable information by not reporting results when there are less than five students for whom data are available or when those results can be easily calculated based on other data provided. 

Steps to Ensure Valid and Reliable Estimates

The Office of Special Education (OSE) will annually provide information to parent centers, advocacy agencies and the New York State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as well as other networks and agencies (e.g., Early Childhood Education Centers (ECDCs)) to request their assistance in encouraging parents of students with disabilities to complete and return the parent survey when requested by their school districts.

In addition to English, the surveys will be made available in the six predominant languages in this State (Spanish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Bengali, and Urdu).  Translators would need to be provided to ensure parents who do not read or understand one of these languages have an opportunity to participate in the survey. 

Surveys will be returned directly to an independent research firm working with SED to print, disseminate, collect analyze and report on the parent survey information. A parent’s individual responses will be confidential.

2005-06 Baseline Data

In 2005-06, 86.9% of parents surveyed indicated that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.

Discussion of Baseline Data

The baseline data was calculated based on the following:

  • Number of surveys with at least 15 completed responses: 9,261
  • Number of surveys with at least 51% positive responses: 8,040
  • Positive parental response rate: 86.8% 
  • Weighted (on the basis of sample size) positive parental response rate was 86.9%

During the 2005-06 school year, 113 school districts in the State surveyed parents by using the modified version of the NCSEAM survey that NYS adopted to collect data for this indicator. The survey may be found at the end of this indicator. The 113 school districts are representative of the State. Over the six-year period of this SPP, all school districts will have administered this survey. The following are the statewide results:

Response Rate:

  • The Statewide response rate was 128 percent based on data from 113 school districts. The sum of all the minimum sample sizes was 7,469 and 9,575 surveys were returned. The response rate was over 100 percent of the minimum required because the State recommended over-sampling parents to get sufficient response rate. The State asked school districts to either send the survey to all parents of students with disabilities in the school district or to 10 times the number of parents from whom responses were needed in order to have the minimum sample of responses.
  • Data indicate that 58 school districts out of 113 had a sufficient response rate. The response rate in 55 of the 58 school districts was more than a 100 percent of the sample size (16 of the 55 school districts had a response rate of 200% or higher).
    • 17 school districts had a response rate that was 75 percent to 99 percent of the minimum sample size.
    • 13 school districts had a response rate that was 50 percent to 74 percent of the minimum sample size.
    • 25 school districts had a response rate that was less than 50 percent of the minimum sample size.

The response rates by Need Resource Capacity category of school districts were as follows:

Need Resource
Capacity Category
Number of School Districts in the State Sample Minimum Sample Needed Number of Surveys Returned Response Rate
New York City 1 96 145 150%
Large Four Cities 1 95 148 155.8%
Urban-Suburban High Need Districts 8 656 645 95.6%
Rural High Need Districts 28 1,700 1,293 76.1%
Average Need Districts 52 3,440 4,520 131.4%
Low Need Districts 23 1,578 2,824 179.0%

Survey Responses:

  • Number of surveys with at least 15 completed responses: 9,261 out of 9,575 or 96.7%.
  • Number of surveys with at least  51 percent positive responses: 8,040
  • Positive parental response rate:  86.8 percent [(8,040/9,261) *100)]
  • Weighted (on the basis of sample size) positive parental response rate: 86.9 percent.
  • In 2005-06, 58 school districts had sufficient sample size of surveys returned. Of these school districts 29 had positive parental response rates of 89.6% or higher and 29 had rates that were lower. The range of positive parental response among these school districts was 76.9% to 100.0%.

Analysis of Survey Items: The top three questions with which parents most often agreed were:

  • 95.7 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “At the IEP meeting, we discussed accommodations and modifications that my child would need.”
  • 95.7 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Teachers and administrators respect my cultural heritage.”
  • 94.1 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Over the past year, special education services have helped me and /or my family know where to go for support to meet my child’s need.”

Two of the questions with which parents most often disagreed were as follows:

  • 15.3 percent of respondents disagreed with the statements, “The school explains what options I have if I disagree with a decision of the school.”
  • 14.1 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement, “Over the past year, special education services have helped me and/or my family feel more confident in my skills as a parent.”

All reports from parent surveys were disaggregated by need/resource capacity category of school districts as well as by quality assurance regional offices to facilitate provision of technical assistance to school districts.

Measurable and Rigorous Targets

FFY Measurable and Rigorous Target
2005
(2005-06)
Baseline Data:
86.9 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services reported that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. 
2006
(2006-07)
87 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
2007
(2007-08)
87.5 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. 
2008
(2008-09)
88 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
2009
(2009-10)
89 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
2010
(2010-11)
90 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. 
2011
(2011-12)*
90 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
2012
(2012-13)*
90 percent of parents with a child receiving special education services will report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
* In FFY 2009, USED requested states to add two additional years to the SPP, including adding two additional years of targets.

Improvement Activities/Timelines/Resources

Activity Timeline Resources
Continue support to 5 parent centers in New York City (3), Long Island (1) and Western New York (1).  The Long Island Parent Center and the New York City based centers were designed specifically to provide outreach and direct services to unserved and underserved families.
Increase the number of parent centers statewide to assure that every location has coverage, beginning with an additional parent center in upstate.
2005-12*


2008-12*
IDEA Part B Discretionary Funds
Schools with poor results on the parent survey will be directed to the Department's technical assistance documents on the OSE web site on the “Additional Resources” page: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/resources.htm.  The document provides a summary of research supporting the effectiveness of family involvement, descriptions of model programs and practical information to assist parents and families, educators, administrators and other individuals who are interested in building effective school-family-community involvement programs. 2005-12* Educating our Children Together: A Sourcebook for Effective Family-School-Community Partnerships
Arrange for additional data analysis of survey responses according to technical assistance provided by OSEP at a recent teleconference call with NCSEAM at which the RASCH analysis was discussed.
Use results of data analyses to guide technical assistance to schools to improve their parent involvement activities
2006-12*


2007-12*
Vendor Contract for Data Analysis

SED Technical Assistance Centers
Provide guidance to school districts on what steps they may take to boost their survey return rates.

Schedule school districts that did not get sufficient response rates to administer the parent survey again in a subsequent school year.
2005-12*


2006-12*
OSE
ECDCs
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)  - Continue with training inclusive of both school personnel and parents as part of technical assistance activities
  • Continue NYS PBIS model of including family representatives on school planning teams for each level of implementation.
  • The proposed NYS PBIS Statewide TAC scope of work will include support for family perspective in all levels of NYS-PBIS implementation within schools and regionally, and deliver School-Family-Community Partnership training to stakeholders
2005-12*

2007-12*
IDEA Part B Discretionary Funds
Regional Special Education Technical Assistance  Support Centers (RSE-TASC) Behavior Specialists
(rev. 1/10)

NYS PBIS Statewide TAC

The Department funds 14 ECDCs to provide information and referral services to professionals and families of young children with disabilities, birth through five years of age. ECDCs provide training on early intervention to preschool transition, due process rights, how parents can access services and resources, LRE and other parent-specific concerns. (rev. 2/11) 2005-12* ECDCs
Continue to require that a parent with a child with a disability (in addition to the student's parent) participate in Committee on Special Education and Committee on Preschool Special Education meetings.

Provide training to the additional parent members on the CSE/CPSE process.
Train parents on due process, federal and State Law and regulations, transition planning and other priority issues.
2005-12* State Law and Regulation

RSE-TASC Regional Trainers (rev. 1/10)
ECDCs

Require that parents be provided a copy of the State’s guidebook,  Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3–21: A Parent’s Guide or a locally developed guidebook be provided to a parent upon referral of a child for special education services. 2005-12 State Law
Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3–21: A Parent’s Guide
Update and reissue policy for mandatory provision of Procedural Safeguards notification.  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/coverpsgn109.pdf (revised link 2/11) 2005-09
Completed
Jan. 09
OSE
Propose in State regulations that school districts use a mandated form when requesting parent consent and providing prior written notice to parents to ensure parents are fully informed. See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/mandatedformsregs.pdf 2009
Completed.  State forms to be issued in 2010 and mandatory as of 2011-12
State regulation; State-developed forms and notices and guidance documents
Routinely incorporate in the scope of work for all projects and Technical Assistance Centers activities that include information and support for family participation.  Additional networks listed elsewhere in the SPP not mentioned above include:
  • CCSI and School Support Projects identified for Indicator 5 (LRE)
  • RSE-TASC Transition Specialist activities identified for Indicators 13 and 14 (Transition) (rev. 1/10)
2005-12* OSE
OSE funded networks
State and municipal interagency collaborative partners
Conduct parent roundtable discussions and establish formal communication systems with representatives of parent organizations to actively seek advice from families on statewide policies, programs, and plans; and feedback on services 2007-12* OSE Parent Centers
Use results from parent surveys and parent forums in school review processes. (rev. 1/10) 2005-12* SEQA
OSE’s website provides online access to all policy guidance documents and resources.  One section of the website provides especially parent-friendly guidance materials with tools and links to resources. The parent section address is http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/quality/parents.htm 2005-12* OSE
Develop a new CPSE/CSE training program to improve delivery of special education services. (added APR 2/08; rev. 1/10) 2008-12* Regional RSE-TASC trainers
(rev 1/10)
ECDC staff
OSE staff
Issue a new RFP to expand the number of State funded parent centers. (added APR 2/08) 2008-09
Completed
(See APR 2/09)
Discretionary funds
*In FFY 2009, USED requested states to add two additional years to the SPP, including adding two additional years of targets.

Attachment - NYS Parent SurveyPDF document PDF (75 KB)

Last Updated:

 

January 30, 2012 ate -->