Special Education

State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2012- Revised February 2013 - Indicator 2

Overview of the State Performance Plan Development

See Overview of the State Performance Plan Development preceding Indicator 1.
In addition, 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 2*:  Percent of youth with individualized education programs (IEPs) dropping out of high school.
(20 U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A))

*Note: The definition of Indicator 2, the Measurement and Target table were revised in 1/10 per federal guidance issued 3/09.

Measurement: (Revised in January 2010.)

Measurement for youth with IEPs is the same measurement as for all youth.  The calculation is explained below.

NYS’ Measurement:

Percent of “total cohort” of students with disabilities who drop out as of August after four years of first entering 9th grade or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years of becoming 17 years of age.

Please note, the above measurement represents a change from the data provided in FFY 2007 (2007-08), FFY 2006, and FFY 2005 SPPs and Annual Performance Reports (APRs).  In these earlier documents, the State reported results of the total cohort after four years as of June (or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years from becoming 17 years of age). Based on a change in federal requirements for FFY 2008, which required the State to use the same data as are used under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the change has been made to report results of the total cohort, four years later, as of August (or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years from becoming 17 years of age).

NYS uses the same total cohort data for dropout rate calculation as are used in the ESEA graduation rate calculation and follows the timeline established by the United States Education Department (USED) under Title I of the ESEA.  At the beginning of the SPP in 2004-05, this was the percent of the “graduation-rate cohort” of students with disabilities who dropped out of school.  To remain consistent with ESEA changes, beginning with school year 2005-06, the reference group changed to the “total cohort.” NYS baseline and targets were adjusted in FFY 2007, when the ESEA measure used by the State to determine graduation rate changed to being based on the performance of the “total cohort.”

Data Source:

The Student Information Repository System (SIRS) for collecting dropout data for all students.

NYS Calculation for Drop Out Rate for School Year 2009-10:

For FFY 2011, the 2006 district total cohort is the denominator. 

The 2006 district total cohort consists of all students, regardless of their current grade level, who met one of the following conditions:

  • First entered grade 9 at any time during the 2006-07 school year (July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007); or in the case of ungraded students with disabilities, reached their seventeenth birthday during the 2006-07 school year; or
  • Ungraded students are included in the 2006 cohort if their birth date is between July 1, 1989 and June 30, 1990 (inclusive). 

Students who have spent at least five months in district schools or out-of-district placements during year 1, 2, 3, or 4 of high school are included in the district total cohort unless they transferred to another diploma-granting program outside the district.  For the 2004 Total Cohort, Year 1, 2, 3, and 4 are the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, respectively.

NYS Calculation for Drop Out Rate for the School Year 2011-12:

Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, the five month requirement changed to a one day requirement for inclusion in the district total cohort (unless transferred to another diploma-granting program outside the district).  This change applies to students with and without disabilities.

A student will be included in the district total cohort if the student’s enrollment record in the district shows that the student was enrolled for:

  • at least five continuous (not including July and August) months and the Reason for Ending Enrollment in the district was not one of the following: transferred to a school in another district, a nonpublic school, or a school outside New York; died; transferred by court order; or left the US; or
  • less than five months and has an ending reason indicating that the student dropped out or transferred to an approved Alternative High School Equivalency Preparation Program (AHSEPP) or High School Equivalency Preparation Program (HSEPP) program and the student’s previous enrollment record in that district (assuming one exists) indicates that the student:
    • was enrolled in the district for at least five months (not including July and August); and
    • dropped out or transferred to an AHSEPP or HSEPP program.

The numerator for the computation of the rate of dropping out is the number of total cohort students with disabilities who drop out as of August after four years of first entering 9th grade or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years of becoming 17 years of age.

Definition of Drop Out:

Information pertaining to the rules for reporting dropout data can be found throughout the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) Manual at:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/sirs/.  The definition of “dropout” may be found on pages 236-237 of Appendix V:  Terms and Acronyms:

“A dropout is any student, regardless of age, who left school prior to graduation for any reason except death or leaving the country and has not been documented to have entered another program leading to a high school diploma or an approved program leading to a high school equivalency diploma.  The NYSED reports an annual and cohort dropout rate.  A student who leaves during the school year without documentation of a transfer to another program leading to a high school diploma or to an approved high school equivalency program or to a high school equivalency preparation program is counted as a dropout unless the student resumes school attendance before the end of the school year.  The student’s registration for the next school year does not exempt him or her from dropout status in the current school year.  Students who resume and continue enrollment until graduation are not counted as dropouts in the cohort dropout calculation.  In computing annual dropout rates, students who are reported as having been counted by the same school as a dropout in a previous school year are not counted as a dropout in the current school year.”

For further information about cohorts used in the past, see SPP Indicator 1 for the definitions of Graduation-Rate Cohort and School and District Accountability Cohort, and the history of changing the definition of Graduation-Rate Cohort in 2006-07.

Overview of Issue/Description of System or Process

NYS Education Law section 3202 does not permit any student over the compulsory attendance age in his or her school district to be dropped from enrollment unless he or she has been absent 20 consecutive school days and the following procedure is complied with: The principal or superintendent must schedule and notify, in writing and at the last known address, both the student and the person in parental relationship to the student of an informal conference.  At the conference the principal or superintendent must determine both the reasons for the student’s absence and whether reasonable changes in the student’s educational program would encourage and facilitate his or her re-entry or continuance of study. The student and the person in parental relationship must be informed orally and in writing of the student’s right to re-enroll at any time in the public school maintained in the school district where he or she resides.  If the student and the person in parental relationship fail, after reasonable notice, to attend the informal conference, the student may be dropped from enrollment provided that he or she and the person in parental relationship are notified in writing of the right to re-enter at any time.  No student may be dropped from enrollment in NYS prior to the end of the school year in which the student turns age 16.

Baseline Data for FFY 2004 (2004-05)

The drop-out rate of students with disabilities in the 2001 total cohort as of June 30, 2004 was 25.5 percent. The drop-out rate for all students in the same cohort was 15.4 percent.

Discussion of Baseline Data

As the data provided in the table below indicate, the drop-out rate of students with disabilities in the 2001 total cohort (25.5 percent) was higher than the drop-out rate of the 2000 total cohort of students with disabilities (13.0 percent). Also, the drop-out rate of students with disabilities in the 2001 total cohort (25.5 percent) is 10.1 percentage points or 66 percent higher than the drop-out rate for all students (15.4 percent).

Total Cohort, As of June 30, Four Years Later

Cohort Year All Students

Students with Disabilities
  # in Cohort Drop Out Rate # in Cohort Drop-Out Rate
2000 199,312 11.9% 21,262 13.0%
2001 212,135 15.4% 26,281 25.5%

We have adjusted our baseline data and targets for this indicator based on data for the 2000 and 2001 total cohorts.  However, since the Department has revised its 2001 total cohort data as reflected above, it may consider revising its targets for this indicator in a subsequent year, once we have more longitudinal data.

Measurable and Rigorous Targets

FFY Measurable and Rigorous Target
2005
2005-06 school year
(2002 total cohort as of June 2006)**
No more than 19 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2006
2006-07 school year
(2003 total cohort as of June 2007)**
No more than 19 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2007
2007-08 school year
(2004 total cohort as of June 2008)**
No more than 19 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2008
2007-08 school year
(2003 total cohort as of August 2007)**
No more than 18 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2009
2008-09 school year
(2004 total cohort as of August 2008)**
No more than 16 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2010
2009-10 school year
(2005 total cohort as of August 2009)**
No more than 15 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2011
2010-11 school year
(2006 total cohort as of August 2010)***
No more than 14 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
2012
2011-12
(2007 total cohort as of August 2011)***
No more than 12 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.
**Note: In FFY 2008, the language in this target chart was adjusted to be consistent with March 2009 federal requirements for the lag in reporting year for this indicator using ESEA definitions and timelines.
***In FFY 2009, USED requested states to add two additional years to the SPP, including adding two additional years of targets.

The targets to reduce the drop out rate in this State are determined to be rigorous in relation to the increasing standards established in this State for students to meet the graduation requirements. The targets in the years 2005-07 reflect improvement because of the State’s expectation that the data will include many more students with disabilities who were previously not accounted for in the State’s graduation cohort.  The projected improvement beginning in 2008 corresponds to the State’s implementation of identified improvement activities, and in particular, the projected increase in the numbers of career and technical education programs developed to address the needs of students with disabilities. 

Improvement Activities/Timelines/Resources

The improvement activities identified below are designed to address high risk factors associated with dropouts, including attendance, behavior and academic achievement.  

Activity Timeline Resources
See indicator 1 activities.    
Beginning in 2006-07: School districts with drop-out rates for students with disabilities of at least 20 percent but less than 33 percent were identified as districts “in need of assistance.” School districts with drop-out rates of 33 percent or higher were identified as “districts in need of intervention.” Each school district, as a result of this designation, was required to engage in one or more of the following activities to improve its graduation rates:
  • Conduct a focused review
  • Work with one of the State’s funded technical assistance networks
  • Use a portion of its IDEA Part B funds to address the area of concern
  • Redirect its fiscal or human resources
  • Conduct a self-review of its policies, procedures and practices
  • Develop improvement plans
2006-12****
Completed (See APR 2/12)
SEQA Regional Offices
Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC)
RSE-TASC Transition Specialists (rev. 1/10)

Revise criteria for the identification of districts to align more closely with the State’s NCLB differentiated accountability system.  See   http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/spp/
2011annualcriteria.htm

2011-12 RSE-TASC
SEQA
Implement Model Transition Programs in 60 school districts throughout the State 2007-09
Completed
(rev. 1/10)
Competitive contracts with 60 school districts in collaboration with VESID Vocational Rehabilitation District Offices
Expand opportunities for CTE for students with disabilities.
  • Continue to provide students enrolled in approved school district or BOCES CTE program that successfully complete all requirements the opportunity to earn a technical endorsement to be affixed to the high school diploma.
  • Provide technical assistance on the CTE Skills Achievement Profile for Students with Disabilities Receiving an IEP Diploma. 
2005-12**** “High Schools that Work” implemented in four school districts and seven BOCES to integrate academic and technical skills.

A CTERC has been established at the Questar III BOCES to increase graduation rates and to support low performing schools. CTERC will provide training and technical assistance in CTE and academic integration.
CTERC ended 12/09

See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/transition/CTEprofile.htm

RSE-TASC Transition Specialists (rev. 1/10)

Use products from the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities and disseminate to school districts. 2007-12**** National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
http://www.dropoutprevention.org/external link
****Extended the end dates to 2012 coinciding with extended dates of the SPP (rev. 2/11).

In addition to the above activities targeted to address drop out for students with disabilities, the State Education Department addresses drop out for all students through the following activities.

Activity Timeline Resources
Provide technical assistance and training to middle schools to address factors that influence student dropout behavior in their respective communities. 2005-08
Completed
Destination: Graduation – an alliance between SED and the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University.
Require school districts with low attendance rates to set aside a portion of their comprehensive operating aid for attendance improvement and dropout prevention.  2005-11 State Aid
Last Updated: March 5, 2013ate -->