Special Education

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 2:  Percent of youth with individualized education programs (IEPs) dropping out of high school.
(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 dropout 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 (2007-08), 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 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 Department under Title I of ESEA.  At the beginning of the State Performance Plan (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.”

Data Source:

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

NYS’ Calculation for Drop Out Rate for School Year 2008-09:

For FFY 2008, the 2004 district total cohort is the denominator.

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 17th birthday during the 2004–05 school year; or
  • 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 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:

    a) was enrolled in the district for at least five months (not including July and August); and

    b) dropped out or transferred to an AHSEPP or HSEPP program.

(The five-month enrollment rule does not apply to the Statewide aggregated total cohort data displayed in this APR.)

The numerator for the computation of the rate of dropping out is the number of total cohort students with disabilities who dropped 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 page 316 of the 2010-11, SIRS Manual in the Glossary of Terms - Appendix 23:

“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 AHSEPP or to a HESPP 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.

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

FFY Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 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.
*Note:  The language in this target chart is consistent with March 2009 federal requirements for the lag in reporting for this indicator using ESEA definitions and timelines.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2009:

In the 2008-09 school year, 16.0 percent of students with disabilities in the 2004 total cohort as of August 2008 dropped out of school.

The State achieved its target of no more than 16 percent will drop out of school.

Total Cohort, As of August, Four Years Later
Cohort Year All Students Students with Disabilities
# in Cohort Drop-Out # & Rate # in Cohort Drop-Out # & Rate
2003 220,332 n=25,415
11.5%
28,528 n=4,829
16.9%
2004223,726n=22,253
10%
31,252n=5,001
16%
2005225,219n = 21,647
9.6%
32,058n = 5,352
16.7%

 

Need/ Resource
Capacity Category

2003 Total Cohort of
SWD As of August
Four Years Later

2004 Total Cohort of
SWD As of August
Four Years Later

2005 Total Cohort of
SWD As of August
Four Years Later

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

New York City

8,407

22.0%

10,117

21.6%

10,945

22.4%

Large Four Cities

1,536

38.9%

1,612

31.4%

1,647

30.2%

Urban/Suburban
High Need Districts

2,778

20.0%

2,633

16.5%

2,668

19.3%

Rural High Need Districts

2,323

19.9%

2,382

19.4%

2,489

18.5%

Average Need Districts

9,563

12.5%

10,216

12.0%

10,218

12.0%

Low Need Districts

3,873

4.0%

4,165

3.8%

3,985

4.4%

Charter Schools

48

31.3%

127

23.6%

106

17.9%

Total State

28,528

16.9%

31,252

16.0%

31,952

16.7%

 

Group of
School Districts

2003 Total Cohort of
SWD as of August
Four Years Later

2004 Total Cohort of
SWD As of August
Four Years Later

2005 Total Cohort of
SWD As of August
Four Years Later

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

 

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

# in Cohort

Drop-Out Rate

Big Five Cities

9,943

24.6%

11,729

22.9%

12,592

23.5%

Rest of State

18,585

12.8%

19,523

11.8%

19,466

12.3%

Total State

28,528

16.9%

31,252

16.0%

32,058

16.7%

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that occurred for FFY 2009:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

In the 2008-09 school year, the State met its target of no more than 16 percent of students with disabilities will drop out of school.  The 2008-09 school year rate is 0.9 percentage point better than the drop out rate for the 2003 total cohort in 2007-08 (16.9 percent).  This improvement is significant because there were 2,724 more students with disabilities in the 2004 total cohort compared to the 2003 total cohort.

In the 2009-10 school year, the State’s dropout rate dipped to 16.7, which represents slippage of 0.7 percentage point compared to 2008-09.

* While the State is required to report in the APR the data results from the 2008-09 school year, it has chosen to also report on the State’s most recent year data for this indicator. The chart above displays three-year data results to demonstrate progress/slippage.

  • There were improvements in the dropout rate in:
    • NYC from 22.0 to 21.6  and then slippage to 22.4 percent;
    • Large four cities from 38.9 to 31.4 to 30.2 percent;
    • Urban/suburban high need districts from 20.0 to 16.5, and then slippage to 19.3 percent;
    • Rural high need districts from 19.9 to 19.4 to 18.5 percent;
    • Average need districts from 12.5 to 12.0 to 12.0 percent;
    • Low need districts from 4.0 to 3.8 and then slippage  to 4.4 percent;
    • Charter schools from 31.3 to 23.6 to 17.9 percent.
  • The range of dropout rates for the 2004 total cohort by Need/Resource category of school districts was between 31.4 percent in the large four cities to 3.8 percent in low need school districts. The range for the 2005 total cohort was between 30.2 percent in the big four cities to 4.4 percent in the low need school districts.

Improvement Activities Completed during 2009-10

In 2009-10, the multiple Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers conducted regional forums on the topic of factors relating to dropout for students with disabilities.

Also see improvement activities completed for Indicator 1.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2009 [If applicable]

NYS includes dropout rates of students with disabilities in its criteria to determine whether a school district meets requirements, needs assistance, needs intervention or needs substantial intervention.  The State revised its criteria, consistent with its targets for improvement, to identify any district with a dropout rate of 17 percent or higher.  In 2009-10, the State identified 58 school districts as a result of high dropout rates for students with disabilities.

Last Updated: February 3, 2011