Special Education

Annual Performance Report for 2008-09 - February 2010 - Indicator 15

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 15:  General supervision system (including monitoring, complaints, hearings, etc.) identifies and corrects noncompliance as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from identification.
(20 U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(B))

Measurement:

In 2006, the United States Education Department (USED) revised the baseline measurement for this indicator as follows: 

Percent of noncompliance corrected within one year of identification:

  1. # of findings of noncompliance.
  2. # of corrections completed as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from identification.

Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100.

For any noncompliance not corrected within one year of identification, describe what actions, including technical assistance and/or enforcement that the State has taken.

Data Source:

New York State (NYS) uses data taken from State monitoring, complaints, hearings and other general supervision system components.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2008
(2008-09 school year)
100% of noncompliance issues identified through the State’s general supervision system (including monitoring, complaints, hearings, etc.) will be corrected within one year from identification.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2008:

72.5 percent of noncompliance issues identified between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 through the State's general supervision system (including monitoring, State complaints, hearings, etc.) were corrected within one year of identification.

Table:  Indicator B15 Worksheet

Indicator/ Indicator Clusters General Supervision System Components # of local educational agencies (LEAs) Issued Findings in FFY 2007 (7/1/07 to 6/30/08) (a) # of Findings of noncompliance identified in FFY 2007 (7/1/07 to 6/30/08) (b) # of Findings of noncompliance from (a) for which correction was verified no later than one year from identification (c) # of Findings of noncompliance resolved in greater than 12 months (d) # of Findings of Noncompliance Pending as of 12/23/09
1.   Percent of youth with individualized education programs (IEPs) graduating from high school with a regular diploma.
2.   Percent of youth with IEPs dropping out of high school.
14. Percent of youth who had IEPs, are no longer in secondary school and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of post-secondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school.
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other

1 1 1 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 0 0 0 0 0
3.   Participation and performance of children with disabilities on statewide assessments.
7.   Percent of preschool children with IEPs who demonstrated improved outcomes.
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 4 4 2 1 1
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 0 0 0 0 0
4A.  Percent of districts identified as having a significant discrepancy in the rates of suspensions and expulsions of children with disabilities for greater than 10 days in a school year.
4B.  Percent of districts identified by the State as having a significant discrepancy in the rates of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year of children with disabilities by race and ethnicity.
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 63 371 223 97 51
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 20 35 33 2 0
5.   Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 - educational placements.
6.   Percent of preschool children aged 3 through 5 – early childhood placement.
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 134 410 348 46 16
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 88 211 192 12 7
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. Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 26 47 43 3 1
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 38 77 76 1 0
9.   Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education that is the result of inappropriate identification.
10. Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in specific disability categories that is the result of inappropriate identification.
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 70 108 83 19 6
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 11 15 13 1 1
11. Percent of children who were evaluated within NYS’ established timeline to complete the initial evaluation Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 237 430 204 214 12
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 14 30 29 0 1
12. Percent of children referred by Part C prior to age 3, who are found eligible for Part B, and who have an IEP developed and implemented  by their third birthdays. Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 28 28 6 15 7
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 0 0 0 0 0
13. Percent of youth aged 15 and above with IEPs that include coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable student to meet the post-secondary goals. Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 142 497 339 134 24
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 4 4 4 0 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Behavior Intervention Plans
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 63 33 63 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 13 27 26 1 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)/Committee on Special Education (CSE) Membership
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 9 10 10 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 7 11 11 0 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Discipline
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 4 5 5 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 7 10 9 1 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Educational Facilities
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 15 17 17 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 3 4 4 0 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
IEP Development/Implementation
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 65 117 85 32 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 13 19 18 1 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Personnel Qualifications
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 12 17 1 0 16
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 1 1 0 0 1
Other areas of noncompliance:
Residential Placement
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 4 8 8 0 0
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 1 5 5 0 0
Other areas of noncompliance:
Situation Unique
Monitoring Activities:  Self-Assessment/ Local APR, Data Review, Desk Audit, On-Site Visits, or Other 60 71 63 5 3
Dispute Resolution: Complaints, Hearings 7 12 11 0 1
Sum of the numbers down Column a and Column b 2665 1932 585 148
Percent of noncompliance corrected within one year of identification = (column (b) sum divided by column (a) sum) times 100.
1932(b) / 2665(a) = .72495 X 100 = 72.5.
(b) / (a) X 100 = 72.5% 22.2% 5.6%

Describe the process for selecting LEAs for Monitoring:

The State monitors school districts through data collection, State complaints, self-review monitoring processes, on-site reviews and hearings.

For compliance relating to Indicators 11 (timely evaluations), 12 (Early Intervention to preschool special education) and 13 (transition services), the State monitors a representative sample of one-sixth of the school districts and New York City annually. 

Districts are selected for monitoring to review their policies, procedures and practices relating to development and implementation of IEPs, the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards whenever a school district's data shows significant discrepancies in their rates of long-term suspension of students with disabilities and/or when their data shows a significant discrepancy by race/ethnicity in high suspension rates. 

Districts are selected for monitoring to review their policies, procedures and practices relating to individual evaluations and eligibility determinations by the CSE whenever a school district's data shows significant disproportionality by race/ethnicity in the identification of students with disabilities.

Districts are selected for monitoring to review their policies, procedures and practices relating to Individual Evaluations of Students with Disabilities and CSE Recommendations whenever a school district's data shows significant disproportionality by race/ethnicity in the identification of students with disabilities in specific disability categories (Emotional Disturbance, Learning Disability, Mental Retardation, Other Health Impairment, Speech or Language Impairment and Autism).

Districts are selected for monitoring to review their policies, procedures and practices relating to CSE evaluations, IEP development and placement recommendations whenever the district's data shows significant disproportionality by race/ethnicity in the placement of students with disabilities.

School districts that have unresolved noncompliance beyond 12 months for Indicators 4, 9, 10, 11,12 and 13 and school districts that have been identified for multiple years because of disproportionate data are also selected for additional monitoring reviews.

Districts are also selected for monitoring whenever the State identifies a school district as needing assistance or intervention.  NYS considers a district's performance in relation to the State's targets in the areas of graduation rates, drop out rates, performance on State assessments and compliance issues.  Regional Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) monitoring staff, in consultation with the Coordinators of the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) and regional school district leaders, determines which school districts should be reviewed and the type of review that should occur to appropriately probe the district’s policies, practices and procedures affecting the performance / compliance in the target area.

Education programs of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), approved preschool programs, approved private schools, State supported schools and State operated schools are selected for monitoring on a rotating schedule, but also in consideration of compliance concerns. 

Beginning in 2009, the State conducted a desk audit of use of physical restraints used in residential schools and this information is used to prioritize monitoring of selected residential schools.  Beginning in 2010, the State will require each residential school to conduct a self-review using a State developed protocol relating to behavioral assessments, behavioral interventions, use of time out rooms, emergency interventions and procedures for prevention of abuse, maltreatment or neglect of students in residential placements.

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

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

The State is making progress on this indicator. The 72.5 percent correction of noncompliance is an increase of 10 percentage points from 62.5 percent reported in the 2009 APR.  As of this APR submission (January 28, 2010), 94.4 percent of the total noncompliance issues have been corrected, an increase of 1.8 percent over the last APR. 

These improvements reflect the State’s continuing progress in designing systems and processes to manage implementation of the State Performance Plan (SPP).  NYS has 684 public school districts, including the Big 5 School Districts of New York City, Yonkers, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester; 37 BOCES; 399 approved private day and residential programs (preschool and school age); 13 Special Act School Districts; 11 State-supported schools; numerous other State agency operated education programs and two State-operated schools.  The SPP requirements that the State identifies and ensures the timely correction of noncompliance in each school district for every indicator has created significant challenges given the State's available resources.

Correction of FFY 2007 Findings of Noncompliance Timely Corrected (corrected within one year from identification of the noncompliance):

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2007 (the period from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008)  (Sum of Column a on the Indicator B15 Worksheet) = 2665
  2. Number of findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the LEA of the finding)  (Sum of Column b on the Indicator B15 Worksheet) = 1932
  3. Number of findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)] = 733

Correction of FFY 2007 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):

  1. Number of FFY 2007 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above) = 733
  2. Number of findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”) = 585
  3. Number of findings not yet verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)] = 148

Actions Taken if Noncompliance Not Corrected

For FFY 2007 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

Of the 148 findings of noncompliance that have not yet been verified as corrected by the State, 11 of the findings resulted from State complaint investigations and 52 were the result of focused monitoring reviews.  SEQA monitoring staff have consistently followed up with district or agency programs through the provision of technical assistance, ongoing phone contact and on-site visits to assist the programs to achieve compliance.  Notices indicating required enforcement actions have been sent to district programs as a matter of practice.  In one school district, because of the number and nature of the founded complaints, a Focused Review has also been scheduled for the 2009-10 school year to determine the extent of compliance with special education procedural requirements.  The State closed one private school for failure to correct identified noncompliance. 

The remaining 85 findings of noncompliance are the result of the State’s monitoring of the SPP Indicators.  The State has established a process to follow up on all unresolved noncompliance which includes the development of a district corrective action plan and follow up by the SEQA monitoring staff to determine the status of the district’s plan and their correction of noncompliance.  See specific actions taken to follow up on identified noncompliance reported under Indicators 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. 

On-site reviews have been scheduled in each district that has not submitted an assurance that they have successfully corrected noncompliance that has continued beyond 12 months after identification.  During the review, SEQA monitoring staff determines the reasons or root causes that the district has not successfully corrected the noncompliance.  SEQA requires specific corrective actions to resolve any remaining instances of noncompliance and follows up with the district until resolution is complete.

In 2007, the State required each school district identified by the State as needing assistance or needing intervention to obtain technical assistance and directed its State technical assistance providers to work with these districts to address instructional issues impacting performance and/or compliance.  The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) conducted regular meetings with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) special education central office administration to monitor NYCDOE's implementation of its school improvement plan relating to special education and its plan to address issues of noncompliance. 

In 2007, the State directed any school district identified with continuing noncompliance with Indicators 11, 12 and 13 to resources for technical assistance to address the reasons for the noncompliance.

In 2007, the State provided each school district with data indicating disproportionality by race/ethnicity with technical assistance support from the State's Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TAC-D). 

IDEA discretionary funds were directed in the 2008-09 year to provide funds to approved private schools and Special Act school districts to provide tuition for coursework and test preparation support to paraprofessionals seeking teacher certification.  The State also uses its IDEA discretionary funds to support intensive teacher institutes and for personnel preparation projects to address personnel shortages in bilingual areas (such as special education teachers, psychologists and speech and language therapists.)

Verification of Correction (either timely or subsequent)

For those findings for which the State has reported correction, describe the process the State used to verify that the LEA:  1) is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements: and (2) has corrected all instances of noncompliance (including noncompliance identified through the State’s monitoring system, through the data system and by the Department), consistent with OSEP Memorandum 09-02. 

The State verifies the correction of noncompliance through various methods based on the way the noncompliance is identified.  When the State identifies noncompliance through its monitoring function, a corrective action is prescribed which includes specific actions the institution must take to resolve the noncompliance. A due date is established for the resolution of the noncompliance and a description of what the monitoring staff must see as evidence of correction of noncompliance is detailed.  For those findings that were determined through the State’s data system, the State requires a written assurance by the school district superintendent and maintenance of documentation of correction of noncompliance which is subject to review by the State.  Resubmission of data has also been used to verify the correction of noncompliance. 

Also see specific processes for verification of correction reported under Indicators 4, 9, 11, 12 and 13.

Correction of Remaining FFY 2006 Findings of Noncompliance (if applicable)

For FFY 2006 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

  1. Number of remaining FFY 2006 findings noted in OSEP’s June 1, 2009 FFY 2007 APR response table for this indicator = 174
  2. Number of remaining FFY 2006 findings the State has verified as corrected = 128
  3. Number of remaining FFY 2006 findings the State has NOT verified as corrected [(1) minus (2)] = 46

Fifteen (15) of the 46 issues that have not yet been verified as being corrected are the result of unresolved noncompliance identified under SPP Indicators 4 and 13.  SEQA monitoring staff conduct on-site reviews in each district that has not submitted an assurance that it has corrected noncompliance within 12 months of identification.  During the review, SEQA monitoring staff determines the reasons or root causes that the district has not successfully corrected the noncompliance and requires specific corrective actions to resolve any remaining instances of noncompliance and will follow up with the district until resolution is complete. 

Of the remaining 31 issues, most are in approved private schools and relate to teacher qualifications and personnel shortages in key areas, which are not readily resolved at the school-level.

  • IDEA discretionary funds were directed in the 2007-08 year to provide funds to approved private schools and Special Act school districts to provide tuition for coursework and test preparation support to teachers seeking appropriate certifications and paraprofessionals seeking teacher certification. 
  • The State also uses its IDEA discretionary funds to support intensive teacher institutes and for personnel preparation projects to address personnel shortages in bilingual areas (such as special education teachers, psychologists and speech and language therapists.)

Correction of Any Remaining Findings of Noncompliance from FFY 2005 or Earlier (if applicable)

For FFY 2006 findings for which the State has not yet verified correction, explain what the State has done to identify the root cause(s) of continuing noncompliance, and what the State is doing about the continued lack of compliance, including, as appropriate, enforcement actions taken against an LEA that continues to show noncompliance.

  1. Number of remaining FFY 2005 and 2004 findings noted in OSEP’s June 1, 2009 FFY 2007 APR response table for this indicator = 21
  2. Number of remaining FFY 2005 and 2004 findings the State has verified as corrected = 4
  3. Number of remaining FFY 2005 findings the State has NOT verified as corrected [(1) minus (2)] = 17

These 17 issues are the result of approved private programs not being able to provide appropriately qualified staff regardless of their efforts.  Even with frequent phone calls and on-site visits by SEQA monitoring staff, teacher certification continues to be an outstanding compliance issue for the approved school-age private schools and Special Act School Districts monitored by the Nondistrict Unit (NDU).  This continues to be a challenging problem that requires interagency solutions because of relatively low teacher salaries at these schools, frequent turn-over of staff, and in some cases, the continuing statewide shortage of qualified professionals.

IDEA discretionary funds were directed in the 2006-07 year to provide funds to approved private schools and Special Act school districts to provide tuition for coursework and test preparation support for teachers seeking appropriate certification and paraprofessionals seeking teacher certification.  The State also uses its IDEA discretionary funds to support intensive teacher institutes and for personnel preparation projects to address personnel shortages in bilingual areas (such as special education teachers, psychologists and speech and language therapists.)

Additional Information Required by the OSEP APR Response Table

Statement from the OSEP Response Table State’s Response
The State must review its improvement activities and revise them, if appropriate, to ensure they will enable the State to provide data in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, demonstrating that the State timely corrected noncompliance identified by the State in FFY 2007, in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1232d(b)(3)(E) and 34 CFR §§300.149 and 300.600(e) and OSEP Memo 09-02. The State must demonstrate, in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, that the State has corrected the remaining findings of noncompliance the State reported under this indicator in the FFY 2006, FFY 2005, and FFY 2004 APR that were not reported as corrected. Under Indicator 15 in the APRs for FYY 2004, 2005 and 2006 there were a total of 195 instances of uncorrected noncompliance. 78% or 132 of these issues have been corrected. The remaining 53 issues most are in approved private schools and are related to teacher certification or involve personnel shortage areas.  See below.
The State’s failure to correct longstanding noncompliance raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the State’s general supervision system. The State must take the steps necessary to ensure that it can report, in the FFY 2008 APR, due February 1, 2010, that it has corrected this noncompliance. In reporting on correction of noncompliance, the State must report that it has: (1) corrected all instances of noncompliance (including noncompliance identified through the State’s monitoring system, through the State’s data system and by the Department); and (2) verified that each LEA with identified noncompliance is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has reviewed, and as appropriate, revised its practices and improvement activities and has determined that the State has the infrastructure to effectively resolve the outstanding noncompliance identified in this APR.
In addition, in responding to Indicators 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 in the FFY 2008 APR due February 1, 2010, the State must report on correction of the noncompliance described in this table under those indicators. The correction of noncompliance reported in Indicator 15 includes the noncompliance reported in Indicators 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
In reporting on Indicator 15 in the FFY 2008 APR, the State must use the Indicator 15 Worksheet. The Indicator B15 Worksheet was used to report FFY 2008 data.
Improvement Activities Completed in 2008-09
  • To improve the State’s performance on Indicator 15, we obtained federal technical assistance from the Northeast Regional Resource Center (NERRC) to access a national expert in complaint investigation and management from the Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center (MPRRC).  She provided consultation in developing written complaint procedures and provided three professional development sessions for our State complaint investigators.  To develop the procedures and the training, Special Education Policy and Quality Assurance staff participated regularly in the Complaint Investigators Work Group convened by MPRRC.  This work group provided opportunities for State complaint investigators to discuss and share ideas for improving skills, improve understanding and clarification of special education law consistent with OSEP interpretations on matters that might be the subject of a complaint.
  • See individual Indicator sections (4, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13) for information for activities completed to address resolution of issues of noncompliance. 
  • Annually, each School Superintendent is notified in writing if the district has continuing noncompliance.
  • The Comprehensive Special Education Information System (CSEIS) was enhanced to increase the capacity of the compliance monitoring reports that CSEIS generates to be aggregated in different ways to facilitate strategic interventions.  The newly designed management reports allow, for example, the identification of “hot spots,” where the resolution of noncompliance might be going too slowly, at the geographic or institution level.  CSEIS is used to disseminate periodic electronic notices to LEAs with identified noncompliance, as a reminder of the noncompliance that needs to be corrected and the next steps that will be taken by VESID should timely correction not occur.  The State’s monitoring staff also receives copies of the electronic notices and take appropriate follow-up actions.
  • 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 RSE-TASC.  For further information on this new technical assistance network, see http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/
    techassist/rsetasc/
    .
  • Through a regional planning process, the State’s technical assistance providers are directed to work with identified districts to apply research-based instructional practices and to provide, as appropriate, training and technical assistance support to address compliance issues.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2008 [If applicable]

  • The State will require school districts to develop corrective action plans and to obtain technical assistance whenever the district fails to correct noncompliance within nine months.
  • See revisions to improvement activities identified under Indicators 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
Last Updated: June 30, 2010