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/9selfreviewethnic2011.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 (IDEA), 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 the 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 percent when compared to all other race/ethnicity groups statewide.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2010
(2010-11 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 2010

Districts with Disproportionate Representation in FFY 2010 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.  A total of 108 school districts were excluded because of the State’s minimum size criteria.

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 0.9 percent.

    • Fourteen school districts were identified based on data with disproportionate representation by race/ethnicity in the identification of students with disabilities.
    • Of these districts, six 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 2007 (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%
      FFY 2010 (2010-11 data) 682 14 6 0.9%

    Step One - Identification of Disproportionate Representation by Data

    NYS used its October 6, 2010 enrollment of all students and October 6, 2010 child count of students with disabilities for this FFY 2010 APR submission.  Based on the criteria described in the Measurement section above, 14 school districts were identified as having 2010-11 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 2010, NYS determined that of the 14 school districts whose data indicated disproportionate representation and therefore required reviews, six school districts were found to have disproportionate over-representation in special education and inappropriate identification policies, procedures and/or practices. 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

    Of the 14 school districts identified in FFY 2010 as having disproportionate representation, six school districts (0.9 percent of all NYS school districts) were found to have one or more inappropriate policies, procedures and/or practices.  This is an improvement over the 1.0 percent identified in FFY 2009, but is still below the target of 0 percent.

    Correction of FFY 2009 Findings of Noncompliance (if State did not report 0%):

    1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2009 (the period from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010)

    29 findings
    (8 school districts)

    1. Number of FFY 2009 findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the LEA of the finding)

    27 findings
    (7 school districts)

    1. Number of FFY 2009 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)]

    2 findings
    (1 school districts)

    Correction of FFY 2009 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):

    1. Number of FFY 2009 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above)

    2 findings
    (1 school districts)

    1. Number of FFY 2009 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”) 

    0 findings
    (0 school district)

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

    2 findings
    (1 school district)

    Actions Taken if Noncompliance Found in FFY 2009 Is Not Corrected:
    The district was required to implement a compliance assurance plan (CAP).  The Office of Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) then provided technical assistance on the root causes and required the district to initiate specific procedures for prereferral supports, as are provided to other students, and to ensure that the students’ individual evaluations were conducted in their native languages.  This district was offered technical assistance by the Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TACD) and Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC), but declined the support.

    Verification of Correction of FFY 2009 Noncompliance (either timely or subsequent):
    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 districts were correctly implementing the specific regulatory requirements and that individual instances of noncompliance had been corrected.

    Correction of Remaining FFY 2008 Findings of Noncompliance (if applicable):

    1. Number of remaining FFY 2008 findings noted in Office of Special Education Program’s June 2010 FFY 2009 APR response table for this indicator
    1 finding
    (1 school district)
    1. Number of remaining FFY 2008 findings the State has verified as corrected 
    0 findings
    (0 school district)
    1. Number of remaining FFY 2008 findings the State has not yet verified as corrected [(1) minus (2)]
    1 finding
    (1 school district)

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

    The same district cited above for not correcting 2009 noncompliance was identified in 2008.  The district was required to implement a CAP.  The SEQA Office then provided technical assistance on the root causes and required the district to initiate specific procedures for prereferral supports, as are provided to other students, and to ensure that the students’ individual evaluations were conducted in their native languages.  This district was offered technical assistance by TACD and RSE-TASC, but declined the support.

    Verification of Correction of Remaining FFY 2008 findings:

    Not applicable.  The district did not correct the noncompliance.

    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 percent compliance for FFY 2009 (greater than 0 percent 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 2010 APR, that the districts identified in FFY 2009 and 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 percent 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.

    The State reported on the correction of noncompliance identified in FFY 2009.

     

     

    In FFY 2009, one district did not correct noncompliance within one year and, upon verification review, the State found that the district had not corrected the noncompliance.

    In the FFY 2010 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 2010 APR, the State must review its improvement activities and revise them, if necessary to ensure compliance. The actions the State took to verify correction of noncompliance and correct noncompliance are described above.  The State provides technical assistance and training to districts at risk of, or identified with, disproportionality by race/ ethnicity.  As a result, the State has fewer than one percent of districts identified for this indicator.  In addition, the State has a system of progressive enforcement actions to ensure correction of noncompliance. 

    Improvement Activities Completed in 2010-11

    • To improve timely correction of noncompliance, the Office of Special Education used electronic notices, sent to districts at three-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.
    • TACD provided direct technical assistance to NYS school districts to address issues of disproportionality. For a list of districts, see http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/
      clients
      external link.
    • TACD sponsored a 2011 Summer Institute that focused on how schools can become a protective environment for students through the development of culturally responsive practices. See http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter/tacd/summer_instituteexternal link.
    • The New York State Education Department’s State technical assistance center on Response to Intervention (RtI) provided resources to promote the appropriate identification of English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities.  See http://www.nysrti.org/page/lep-ell/external link.  The TAC sponsored a regional professional development session focused on the specific needs of ELLs within an RtI framework with Dr. Julie Esparza-Brown from Portland (Oregon) State University presenting.  In addition, each of the four regional professional development sessions offered provided specific guidance on serving students with limited English proficiency within the RtI topic being addressed.
    • The State’s bilingual special education technical assistance providers from the RSE-TASC provided technical assistance and professional development to address issues of disproportionality by race/ethnicity as they relate to cultural and bilingual issues.

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

    None

Last Updated: April 11, 2012