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 9:  Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(C))

Measurement:

Percent = [(# of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification) divided by the (# of districts in the State)] times 100.

New York State’s (NYS) Measurement:

Step One:

NYS compares the percent of total enrollment of each race/ethnic group in special education with the percent of total enrollment of all other race/ethnic groups in special education combined.  For notifications of school districts since the 2005-06 school year, the State used the following definition of “disproportionate representation” and in subsequent years may revise the definition by lowering the relative risk ratio, weighted relative risk ratio as well as the minimum numbers of students. (Clarified in February 2008 that the State’s definition of significant disproportion is the same as the definition of disproportion.)

NYS uses the relative risk and weighted relative risk ratios, with minimum “n” sizes to identify school districts whose data indicate disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education. See the definition of “Disproportionate Representation and Methodology” described below.

Step Two:

The State provides for the review of policies, procedures and practices each year a school district’s data shows a disproportionate representation based on race/ethnicity  as follows: 

  • The first year a district’s data indicates disproportionality, the State requires the district to complete a State-developed self-review monitoring protocol, which requires the review of specific policies, practices and procedures.  The monitoring protocol for this review is available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/spp/9selfreviewethnic0910rev.htm.  A report of the results of this review is submitted by the district to the State.  At the time of submission, school districts that identify issues of noncompliance are immediately notified that they must correct all issues of noncompliance as soon as possible, but not later than 12 months. 
  • For subsequent years in which a school district’s data indicates significant discrepancies, the State conducts the monitoring review of the district’s policies, procedures and practices as identified above. 

Step Three:

When calculating the results for this indicator, the State divides the number of school districts with significant disproportionality and inappropriate policies, procedures and/or practices by the total number of school districts in the State.

Data Source:

Data on students’ race/ethnicity and special education classification are collected through the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) at an individual student level.  Results of monitoring reviews submitted are entered into the PD web-based data collection system.

NYS uses data collected and reported to the United States Education Department (USED) in the annual 618 report on Table 1 of Information Collection 1820-0043 (Report of Children with Disabilities Receiving Special Education Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, As Amended) and the State’s analysis to determine if the disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services was the result of inappropriate identification.  These data are also provided to USED in the corresponding EDFacts files.

Definition of Disproportionate Representation and Methodology:

NYS uses the relative risk and weighted relative risk ratios, with minimum “n” sizes to identify school districts whose data indicate disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education.  The minimum “n” size requirement used to compute disproportionate representation does not exclude school districts from the denominator when calculating results for this indicator, but only districts that meet the minimum “n” size are included in the numerator.

Disproportionate Over-representation in Special Education:

  • At least 75 students with disabilities enrolled on the first Wednesday in October;
  • A minimum of 30 students (disabled and nondisabled) of particular race/ethnicity enrolled on the first Wednesday in October;
  • At least 75 students (disabled and nondisabled) of all other race/ethnicities enrolled on first Wednesday in October;
  • At least 10 students with disabilities of particular race/ethnicity enrolled in district on the first Wednesday in October; and
  • Either:
    • Both the relative risk ratio and weighted relative risk ratio for any race/ethnic group is 2.5 or higher; or
    • All students with disabilities in special education are of only one race/ethnic group regardless of the size of the relative risk ratio and weighted relative risk ratio.

Disproportionate Under-representation in Special Education: (category added February 2009)
The district must meet the following criteria for three consecutive years:

  • At least 75 students with disabilities enrolled on the first Wednesday in October;
  • Both the relative risk ratio and weighted relative risk ratio is less than or equal to 0.25;
  • ([District enrollment of race] times [Risk of Other Races]) divided by 2.5 is greater than or equal to 10;
  • Minimum district enrollment of other races is 75; and
  • A district’s risk of race is less than 50% of the Statewide risk of race.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2009
(2009-10 school year)
The percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification will be 0.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2009

Districts with Disproportionate Representation in FFY 2009 of Racial and Ethnic Groups that was the Result of Inappropriate Identification

The State included 574 school districts in the calculation of disproportionality for this indicator because they had a sufficient minimum enrollment of at least 75 students with disabilities.  (This means that 108 school districts were excluded because of the State’s minimum size criteria.) (rev. 4/11) 

The percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification is 1.0 percent.

  • Twelve (12) school districts were identified based on data with disproportionate representation by race/ethnicity in the identification of students with disabilities.
  • Of these districts, seven (7) were found to have disproportionate representation that was the result of inappropriate policies, procedures and/or practices. 
    Year Total Number of Districts Number of Districts with Disproportionate Representation
    (Step One)
    Number of Districts with Disproportionate Representation of Racial and Ethnic Groups that was the Result of Inappropriate Identification (Step Two) Percent of Districts
    FFY 2008 (2007-08 data) 682 13 8 1.2%
    FFY 2008 (2008-09 data) 682 17 8 1.2%
    FFY 2009
    (2009-10 data)
    682 12 7 1.0%

Step One - Identification of Disproportionate Representation by Data

NYS used its October 7, 2009 enrollment of all students and October 7, 2009 child count of students with disabilities for this FFY 2009 APR submission.  Based on the criteria described in the Measurement section above, 12 school districts were identified as having 2009-10 data that was disproportionate based on the criteria described above, and therefore required reviews of their policies, procedures and practices.  Consistent with 34 CFR §300.646(b), all school districts identified by their data as having significant disproportionality were required to reserve 15 percent of their IDEA funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS).

Step Two - Determining if Disproportionate Representation is the Result of Inappropriate Identification

In FFY 2009, NYS determined that of the 12 school districts whose data indicated disproportionate representation and therefore required reviews, seven (7) school districts were found to have disproportionate over-representation in special education that is the result of inappropriate identification. The State’s compliance rate on this Indicator is based on these school districts as a percentage of all school districts in the State.

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

Explanation of Progress or Slippage

In FFY 2008, there were 17 NYS school districts whose data indicated disproportionate identification based on race/ethnicity.  In FFY 2009, there were just 12 school districts, representing progress in addressing the disproportionate representation of students in special education based on race/ethnicity. 

In FFY 2008, eight of the 17 school districts (1.2 percent of all NYS school districts) were found to have disproportionate rates of identification based on race/ethnicity that were the result of inappropriate policies, procedures and/or practices.  In FFY 2009, there were just seven school districts with disproportionate rates of identification by race/ethnicity that were found to be the result of inappropriate policies, procedures and/or practices (or 1.0 percent of all NYS school districts), demonstrating progress.

Correction of Identified Noncompliance

Correction of FFY 2008 Findings of Noncompliance:

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2008 (the period from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009)

28 findings
(9 school districts)

  1. Number of FFY 2008 findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the LEA of the finding)

22 findings
(7 school districts)

  1. Number of FFY 2008 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)]

6 findings
(2 school districts)

Correction of FFY 2008 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):

  1. Number of FFY 2008 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above)

6 findings
(2 school districts)

  1. Number of FFY 2008 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”) 

5 findings
(1 school district)

  1. Number of FFY 2008 findings not yet verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)]

1 finding
(1 school district)

Actions Taken if Noncompliance Found in FFY 2008 Is Not Corrected:
For FFY 2008 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. 

For the two districts that did not report correction of noncompliance within one year from identification, the State conducted a follow-up monitoring review and issued a Compliance Assurance Plan (CAP), specifying the actions the school district was  required to take and giving timelines for these actions to be completed.  The State also directed its State Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TAC-D) (see http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/tacdexternal link) to work with these districts to identify root causes and to participate in professional development to address root causes.  Each district was also invited at no cost to the district to participate in New York University’s TAC-D Summer Institute where extensive professional development was provided. See http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/tacd/summer_instituteexternal link.

For the one school district in item 6 of the FFY 2008 table above, the State’s special education monitoring staff also conducted follow-up activities to assess the district’s progress in completing the corrective action specified in the CAP previously issued by the State.  This district corrected four out of the five findings of noncompliance.  In addition, as a result of having disproportionate data for the third consecutive year, the State is conducting a comprehensive monitoring review that will further examine the root cause(s) of the continuing noncompliance and will identify any new noncompliance related to this indicator.

Verification of Correction of FFY 2008 Noncompliance (either timely or subsequent):
For those findings for which the State has reported correction, report whether the State verified that the LEA:  (1) is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements: and (2) has corrected each individual case of noncompliance, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA, consistent with OSEP Memorandum 09-02.

For correction of noncompliance identified through self-review monitoring reports, the State required that the school district submit its report of correction of each issue of noncompliance with an assurance by the School Superintendent of its accuracy and each district was required to publicly report on revisions to its policies, procedures and practices. 

In the State’s process to verify the correction of noncompliance identified through on-site monitoring, the State followed up with each district to assure that the CAP was fully implemented.  The State reviewed, as appropriate, a sample of student records to ensure that the district is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements and that individual instances of noncompliance have been corrected. 

Correction of Any Remaining Findings of Noncompliance from FFY 2007 or Earlier (if applicable):

NYS does not have any uncorrected noncompliance related to this indicator from FFY 2007 or earlier years.

Additional Information required by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) APR Response Table for this Indicator (if applicable)

Statement from the OSEP Response Table State’s Response
Because the State reported less than 100% compliance for FFY 2008 (greater than 0% actual target data for this indicator), the State must report on the status of correction of noncompliance reflected in the data the State reported for this indicator. The State must demonstrate, in the FFY 2009 APR, that the districts identified in FFY 2008 with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that was the result of inappropriate identification are in compliance with the requirements in 34 CFR §§300.111, 300.201, and 300.301 through 300.311, including that the State verified that each district with noncompliance:  (1) is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirement(s) (i.e., achieved 100% compliance) based on a review of updated data such as data subsequently collected through on-site monitoring or a State data system; and (2) has corrected each individual case of noncompliance, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the district, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02, dated October 17, 2008 (OSEP Memo 09-02). The State has verified the correction of 27 out of 28 findings of noncompliance (96 percent) from nine school districts identified in FFY 2008.  One school district has one finding of noncompliance that has not yet been corrected. See above.  In the State’s process to verify the correction of noncompliance identified through on-site monitoring, the State followed up with each district to assure that the Compliance Assurance Plan was fully implemented.  The State reviewed, as appropriate, a sample of student records to ensure that the district is correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements and that individual instances of noncompliance have been corrected. 
In the FFY 2009 APR, the State must describe the specific actions that were taken to verify the correction.  If the State is unable to demonstrate compliance with those requirements in the FFY 2009 APR, the State must review its improvement activities and revise them, if necessary to ensure compliance. NYS changed its monitoring procedures and technological support systems to provide reminder notices and direct follow-up to districts with continuing noncompliance.  The State verified correction of noncompliance by requiring an assurance from the School Superintendent that its report of correction is accurate, or by conducting an on-site review by special education monitoring staff. 

Improvement Activities Completed in 2009-10

  • To improve timely correction of noncompliance, the Office of Special Education  used electronic notices, sent to districts at 3-month intervals, as a reminder of the noncompliance that needs to be corrected and the next steps that will be taken by the Office of Special Education should timely correction not occur.  The State’s monitoring staff also received copies of these electronic notices and took appropriate follow-up action, including direct follow up upon a finding that noncompliance was not corrected within nine months.
  • The State’s monitoring staff and technical assistance providers attended regional training sessions provided by TAC-D to build the capacity and expertise in each region to address identified issues of disproportionality.
  • The New York State Education Department (NYSED) established a State technical assistance center on Response to Intervention (RtI) and grants to 14 schools across the State. This Center has sponsored professional development sessions specifically on RtI for students with limited English proficiency. 
  • The State expanded the number of bilingual special education technical assistance providers statewide through its Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) to assist school districts to address issues of disproportionality by race/ethnicity as they relate to cultural and bilingual issues.  Beginning in 2010, these positions should be filled and available to provide regional and district-specific technical assistance. 
  • In 2009-10, staff from the RtI Technical Assistance Center and Office of Special Education worked with NYSED’s Bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) Technical Assistance Centers (BETAC) to enhance their capacity to provide technical assistance to districts implementing RtI with limited English proficient/English language learners (LEP/ELLs). District improvements in core bilingual and ESL instruction, progress monitoring, and assessment procedures for LEP/ELLs should result in fewer referrals of Hispanic and Black students who speak English as a second language and reduce the disproportionate representation of Hispanic and Black students in special education.
  • Bilingual specialists from four regions of the State provided regional and district-specific technical assistance to districts serving students with disabilities who are also LEP/ELLs.  To address the shortage of qualified bilingual personnel within the State, district personnel from regions without a bilingual specialist were invited to attend professional development sessions in neighboring regions.
  • During 2009-10, NYSED staff participated in webinars and conferences sponsored by the Regional Education Laboratory – North East and Islands (REL-NEI) and other national technical assistance centers.  Bilingual specialists from the RSE-TASC and BETACs are incorporating information obtained from these sessions into a set of training modules aimed at improving districts’ policies, procedures and practices.  The REL-NEI is also collaborating with the RSE-TASC and BETAC to provide additional professional development activities that bridge the gap between research and practice, and are tailored to meet regional needs.

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

None

Last Updated: April 20, 2011