Special Education

Annual Performance Report for 2008-09 - February 2010 - Indicator 1

Overview of the Annual Performance Report Development:

See Overview of the Development of the Annual Performance Report (APR) in the Introduction section, page 1.

Monitoring Priority: FAPE in the LRE

Indicator 1:  Percent of youth with individualized education programs (IEPs) graduating from high school with a regular diploma.
(20 U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A))

Measurement:

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

New York State’s (NYS) Measurement:

Percent of “total cohort” of students with disabilities who graduate with a high school diploma (Regents or local diploma) 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 the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2007, FFY 2006, and FFY 2005 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 FFY2008, 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).

Data Source:

NYS uses the same graduation rate calculation and timeline established by the United States Education Department for accountability reporting under Title I of ESEA.  At the beginning of the SPP in 2004-05, this was the percent of “graduation-rate cohort” of students with disabilities who graduate with a high school diploma (Regents or local diploma) as of August 31 of the fourth year after first entering 9th grade or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years from becoming 17 years of age.  In order to maintain consistency with ESEA in defining this measure, the definition for the graduation percent changed during school year 2005-06 to reference the “Total Cohort,” as described below.

Consistent with federal directions to report data from the 2007-08 school year for the FFY 2008 APR, NYS is reporting the performance of the 2004 total cohort as is used for accountability under ESEA.

New York State’s Calculation for the 2008-09 School Year:

NYS baseline and targets were adjusted in FFY 2007, when the federal ESEA measure used by the State to determine graduation rate changed to being based on the performance of the “total cohort.”

The denominator is now the total cohort.  See below for the definition of the 2004 total district cohort.

The 2004 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 2004-05 school year (July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005); or in the case of ungraded students with disabilities, reached their seventeenth birthday during the 2004–05 school year. 
  • Ungraded students are included in the 2004 cohort if their birth date is between July 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988 (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 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 school years, respectively.

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 Alternative High School Education 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 a AHSEPP or HSEPP program.

The numerator for the calculation of graduation rate is the number of students with disabilities in the total cohort who graduate with a high school diploma (Regents or local diploma) as of August 2008 after four years of first entering 9th grade or for ungraded students with disabilities, after four years of becoming 17 years of age.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY)

Measurable and Rigorous Target

FFY 2008
(2008-09 school year)
(2004 total cohort, as of August, four years later)*

The percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular high school diploma within four years as of August will be 44 percent.

**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. 

Actual Target Data for FFY 2008:

The percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular high school diploma within four years, as of August 2008, was 44 percent (rounded) , which met the target. This rate also represents almost a three percentage point increase over last year.

Total Cohort, As of August, Four Years Later

Cohort Year

All Students

Students with Disabilities

# in Cohort

Graduation Rate Number & Rate

# in Cohort

Graduation Number & Rate

2003

220,332

n=156,498
71.0%

28,528

n=11,742
41.2%

2004

223,726

n=164,744
73.6%

31,252

n=13,611
43.6%



Need/ Resource Capacity Category

2003 Total Cohort of SWD, Four Years Later as of August

2004 Total Cohort of SWD, Four Years Later as of August

# in Cohort

Grad Rate

# in Cohort

Grad Rate

New York City

8,407

21.8%

10,117

25.0%

Large Four Cities

1,536

23.4%

1,612

27.5%

Urban/Suburban High Need Districts

2,778

34.2%

2,633

37.6%

Rural High Need Districts

2,323

36.6%

2,382

38.2%

Average Need Districts

9,563

50.8%

10,216

53.8%

Low Need Districts

3,873

74.6%

4,165

76.7%

Charter Schools

48

10.4%

127

39.4%

Total State

28,528

41.2%

31,252

43.6%


 

Group of School Districts

2003 Total Cohort of SWD, Four Years Later as of August

2004 Total Cohort of SWD, Four Years Later as of August

# in Cohort

Grad Rate

# in Cohort

Grad Rate

Big Five Cities

9,943

22.0%

11,729

25.3%

Rest of State

18,585

51.4%

19,523

54.5%

Total State

28,528

41.2%

31,252

43.6%

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that occurred for FFY 2008:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

  • In FFY 2008, there was progress in the State’s graduation rate of students with disabilities.  The graduation rate of students with disabilities for the 2004 total cohort after four years as of August, 2008 improved by almost three percentage points compared to the 2003 total cohort rate, from 41.2 percent to 43.6 percent.
  • The State’s progress is more significant given that the total number of students with disabilities in the total cohort has continued to increase each year, in part as a result of improved accuracy in data reporting. There were 2,724 more students with disabilities in the 2004 total cohort compared to the previous cohort.
  • The graduation rate for the 2004 total cohort improved in every Need/Resource category of school districts.
  • The range of graduation rates for the 2004 total cohort by Need/Resource Category of school districts was between 25 percent in NYC to 77 percent in the low need school districts.

The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Reviews conducted in 2007-08 in districts that were designated as in Need of Assistance or Intervention because of graduation rate resulted in a significant improvement in performance in 2008-09 over districts that were designated in 2007-08, but who did not receive SEQA Reviews.  One hundred percent of schools receiving SEQA reviews improved in 2008-09, versus only 66 percent of districts not receiving SEQA reviews.  These districts also received technical assistance to address their low graduation rates from the State’s technical assistance providers.

Improvement Activities Completed during 2008-09

VESID accessed technical assistance to further inform their activities to improve the graduation rates of students with disabilities.  This included a review of Information and resources, including but not limited to information available through the Federal Resource Center for Special Education (FRC), Academy for Educational Development, Northeast Regional Resource Center (NERRC), Learning Innovations at WestEd, National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt), and the Access Center:  Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8.  In addition, VESID staff participated in various State and national meetings, conferences and webinars.

Activities Completed:

  1. NYS' criteria for identifying school districts as needing assistance or intervention under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes a measure of graduation rates for students with disabilities in relation to the State's graduation target for that school year.
    • In September 2008, based on 2006-07 data, 57 school districts were identified as needing assistance and 26 districts were identified as needing intervention.  Of the 83 school districts identified as needing assistance or intervention based on 2006-07 data, 56 were identified as a direct result of their graduation rates for students with disabilities (38 as needing assistance and 18 as needing intervention).  Directed work with these school districts was initiated in the fall of 2008.
    • In June 2009, based on 2007-08 data, 41 school districts were identified as needing assistance and 31 were identified as needing intervention.  Twenty-six (26) out of the 72 identified districts were identified based on low graduation rates.  Technical assistance resources have been directed to these schools. 
  2. VESID substantially increased the amount of its IDEA discretionary funds available for Quality Improvement Implementation grant awards to school districts identified as needing assistance or intervention.  In January 2009, VESID provided approximately 65 school districts with grant awards to implement improvement activities.  Many of the activities were directed to improve instructional practices leading to low graduation rates of students with disabilities.
  3. Through a regional planning process, resources were directed to school districts identified as needing assistance or intervention.  This included focused reviews by SEQA and/or quality improvement technical assistance provided by technical assistance networks funded with IDEA Discretionary funds.
    • SEQA monitoring staff conducted seven reviews in identified districts targeting those policies, practices and procedures impacting on students with disabilities’ access to and participation in the general education curriculum.  SEQA also conducted 12 reviews in identified districts that focused on policies, practices and procedures affecting special education delivery, access to the general education curriculum, educational benefit and instructional outcomes at the high school level and four with the same focus district-wide.
    • In four of the five largest school districts in NYS, SEQA monitoring staff conducted reviews to determine if the district’s policies, practices and procedures offered the foundation for students with disabilities to receive programs that are reasonably calculated to result in educational benefit and improved outcomes. The reviews focused on the areas of individual initial evaluations/reevaluations; Committee on Special Education annual review and progress monitoring processes; and the delivery of special education programs and services.  As a result of these reviews, district-wide systemic Compliance Assurance Plans were implemented in each of the Big 4 City Districts.
  4. The State's special education staff and technical assistance providers received ongoing professional development to enhance their knowledge and expertise with a focus on:
    • small group and intensive behavioral interventions for students with serious social-emotional/behavioral difficulties;
    • explicit strategy instruction – research based strategies in special education;
    • formative assessment, including data and progress monitoring; and
    • school quality improvement strategies.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2008:

During 2008-09, VESID comprehensively redesigned its technical assistance system to expand its technical assistance resources statewide and to create teams of specialists within each region of NYS which include special education school improvement specialists, regional special education trainers, secondary transition specialists, bilingual special education specialists, behavior specialists and individuals directly targeted to provide training and school improvement technical assistance to nondistrict programs such as school-age approved private schools.  This redesign resulted in ten Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC).  For further information on this new technical assistance network, see http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/techassist/rsetasc/. In addition, a revised regional planning process was developed to ensure the State’s technical assistance and monitoring resources are strategically deployed to school districts most in need of improvement. 

Last Updated: June 30, 2010