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 11: Percent of children who were evaluated within 60 days of receiving parental consent for initial evaluation or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeline.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))

Measurement:

  1. # of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received.
  2. # of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 days (or State-established timelines*).

Account for children included in (a) but not included in (b).  Indicate the range of days beyond the timeline when the evaluation was completed and any reasons for the delays.

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

*The State’s established timeline to complete the initial evaluation is 60 calendar days from the date of parental consent to evaluate for preschool and school-age students.1

New York State’s (NYS) Calculation:

NYS’ formula calculating results for this indicator is as follows:

  1. # of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received (does not include students whose evaluations were completed past the State-established timelines for reasons that are in compliance with State requirements.)
  2. # of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 calendar days for preschool2 and school-age students.
    Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100.

Data Source:

Beginning with the 2007-08 year, NYS collects data for this indicator via the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) and verifies these data by displaying them in a VR11 report, which was developed in the PD Data System.  SIRS is NYS' individual student data reporting system.

NYS’ Method Used to Collect Data

NYS collects individual student data through SIRS.  School districts report specific dates when special education events occur, such as the date of referral, date of written parent consent for an initial individual evaluation and the date of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) or Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting to discuss evaluation results.  Information is also collected regarding the number of days from receipt of parent consent to evaluate the child and the date of the CPSE or CSE meeting to discuss evaluation results.  If the number of days exceeds the State-established timelines, reasons for delays are collected.  Some reasons are considered to be in compliance with State requirements and other reasons are not in compliance.   Each school district’s compliance rate is calculated.  NYS requires documentation from each school district whose compliance rate is less than 100 percent that demonstrates each student’s evaluation was completed and that it complies with the regulatory timelines associated with timely completion of initial individual evaluations.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) Measurable and Rigorous Target
FFY 2011
(2011-12 school year)
100 percent of children with parental consent to evaluate will be evaluated within State-required timelines.

Actual Target Data for FFY 2011:

In FFY 2011, 90 percent of students with parental consent to evaluate received their initial individual evaluations within State-required timelines.

  • 85.8 percent of preschool children had their initial evaluations completed within the State required timeline. 
  • 92.5 percent of school-age students had their initial evaluations completed within 60 calendar days of the date of the parent’s consent to evaluate.

Description (optional) of how the State treated, in its data for Indicator 11, children for whom consent to conduct an initial evaluation was received during FFY 2011, but the timeline for completing the evaluation elapsed after the end of FFY 2011:

NYS reports all students with parental consent to evaluate provided during the 2011-12 school year in the reporting for the 2011-12 school year.  In order to ensure that compliance is determined for all students for whom consent was received in the 2011-12 school year, evaluation completion data was captured for all of the 2011-12 school year as well as for the first two months of the 2012-13 school year (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012 and July 1, 2012 – August 31, 2012).

Children Evaluated Within 60 Days (or State-established timeline) during FFY 2011

a. Number of children for whom parental consent to evaluate was received

15,158 3

b. Number of children whose evaluations were completed within 60 days (or State-established timelines)

13,662
Percent of children with parental consent to evaluate, who were evaluated within 60 days (or State-established timeline)  (Percent = [(b) divided by (a)] times 100) 90%

Account for children included in (a) but not included in (b) in the above table:

There are 1,496 students in (a) and not in (b) of the above table.  These are students for whom evaluations were not completed within State-established timelines for reasons which are not in compliance with State requirements.  The chart below provides information regarding the extent of delays and reasons for not completing the initial evaluations of children within the State-established timelines.

Reasons for Delays, FFY 2011 Number of Children by Number of Days of Delay in Completing Evaluations, FFY 2011 Total Percent
of
Total
1-10 11-20 21-30 Over 30
An approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation. 55 50 34 141 280 18.7%
Evaluator delays in completing evaluations. 163 125 83 258 629 42.0%
Delays in scheduling CPSE or CSE meetings. 164 128 73 222 587 39.2%
Total 382 303 190 621 1,496  
Percent of Total 25.5% 20.3% 12.7% 41.5%   100%

Discussion of Improvement Activities Completed and Explanation of Progress or Slippage that Occurred for FFY 2011:

Explanation of Progress or Slippage:

In 2011-12, NYS’ compliance rate improved to 90 percent, an increase of six percentage points over the State’s rate of 84 percent in 2010-11.  This improvement is significant because the State measures its performance each year based on a different representative sample of school districts.  Therefore, with the exception of New York City (NYC), the State’s results only reflect compliance for those districts where the State has not previously monitored for this indicator and the data do not reflect improvements made by other districts that have corrected their noncompliance.  All findings of noncompliance identified in 2010-11 or earlier have been corrected.  Improvement for this indicator, therefore, demonstrates the proactive attention given to this compliance issue through the State’s improvement activities.

School-Age Evaluations

92.5 percent of school-age students had their initial evaluations completed within 60 calendar days of the date of the parent’s consent to evaluate.  The percent of school-age students who had their initial evaluations completed within 60 calendar days of the date of the parent’s consent to evaluate improved by 2.5 percentage points.

Preschool Evaluations

Actual performance data shows that 85.8 percent of preschool children had their initial evaluations completed within the State required timeline.  This is an improvement of more that 9 percentage points from prior year reporting.

The percent of preschool children that did not have their evaluations completed within the State-required timeline continues to significantly impact the State’s results for this indicator.  Factors impacting this rate include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Prior to April 2012, the State’s timeline for preschool evaluations was 30 school days, which is much shorter than the federally-required 60 calendar days and contributed to evaluation delays.
  • State law allows the parent of a preschool child to select the approved evaluator to conduct the individual evaluation.  Parents do not always select approved evaluators who are able to complete the individual evaluation within the State’s required timeline.

Lengths of Delays

A review of the length of delays indicates the following:

  • 25.5 percent of all delays in completing initial evaluations were for 1-10 days;
  • 20.3 percent for 11-20 days;
  • 12.7 percent for 21-30 days; and
  • 41.5 percent for more than 30 days.

While there is a decrease in the percent of delays in completing initial evaluations for 1-10 days, we see an increase in the percentage of delays for more than 30 days.  This is likely impacted by the regulatory change for completion of preschool evaluations.  NYS expects this number to decrease in future years based on the new timeline.

Reasons for Delays

A review of the reasons for the delays indicates:

  • 18.7 percent of delays were because an approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation;
  • 42.0 percent because of evaluator delays in completing the evaluations; and
  • 39.2 percent related to timeliness of scheduling CPSE or CSE meetings to discuss evaluation results.

Last year, we reported that only 10.8 percent of delays were because an approved evaluator was not available to provide a timely evaluation.  However, this year, the data shows that 18.7 percent of the delays were linked to this reason.

Last year, we reported that 53.9 percent of the delays were reported as caused by untimely scheduling of CPSE or CSE meetings to discuss the evaluation results.  The State’s FFY 2011 data shows only 39.2 percent were indicated as the reason.

One major root cause of this reason for delays continues to be personnel shortages, particularly in NYC and the other Big Four cities.  The State and NYC are implementing court settlement actions under the Jose P. court case relating to availability of professionals in personnel shortage areas (e.g., speech and language and bilingual evaluators).

Correction of FFY 2010 Findings of Noncompliance (if State reported less than 100 percent compliance):

Level of compliance (actual target data) State reported for FFY 2010 for this indicator: 84 percent 

  1. Number of findings of noncompliance the State made during FFY 2010 (the period from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011)
112
(70 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2010 findings the State verified as timely corrected (corrected within one year from the date of notification to the local educational agency of the finding)  
110
(68 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2010 findings not verified as corrected within one year [(1) minus (2)]
2 findings
(2 school districts)
Correction of FFY 2010 Findings of Noncompliance Not Timely Corrected (corrected more than one year from identification of the noncompliance):
  1. Number of FFY 2010 findings not timely corrected (same as the number from (3) above)
2 findings
(2 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2010 findings the State has verified as corrected beyond the one-year timeline (“subsequent correction”)
2 findings
(2 school districts)
  1. Number of FFY 2009 findings not verified as corrected [(4) minus (5)]
0 findings
(0 school districts)

Actions Taken if Noncompliance Found Is Not Corrected:
NYS does not have any uncorrected noncompliance related to this indicator from FFY 2010.

Verification of Correction of FFY 2010 Noncompliance (either timely or subsequent):

NYS has verified that each local educational agency (LEA) with noncompliance identified in FFY 2010 for this indicator:  (1) is correctly implementing 34 CFR §300.301(c)(1) (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 completed the evaluation, although late, for any child whose initial evaluation was not timely, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02. 

Describe the specific actions that the State took to verify the correction of findings of noncompliance identified in FFY 2010:

The State verified the correction of noncompliance by requiring submission of the specific date that the individual evaluation was completed, although late, for each individual student whose evaluation was not timely.  To verify the correction of noncompliance for all students through the review of subsequent data demonstrating compliance, the districts were required to report to the State the percent of students who had a timely evaluation over specified period of time. See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sedcar/forms/vr/1112/html/verif11.htm

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

The State must demonstrate, in the FFY 2011 APR, that the State is in compliance with the timely initial evaluation requirement in 34 CFR §300.301(c)(1). 

The State’s compliance rate for this indicator is 90 percent.

Because the State reported less than 100 percent compliance for FFY 2010, the State must report on the status of correction of noncompliance identified in FFY 2010 for this indicator.  When reporting on the correction of noncompliance, the State must report, in its FFY 2011 APR, that it has verified that each LEA with noncompliance identified in FFY 2010 for this indicator:  (1) is correctly implementing 34 CFR §300.301(c)(1) (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 completed the evaluation, although late, for any child whose initial evaluation was not timely, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA, consistent with OSEP Memo 09-02.  In the FFY 2011 APR, the State must describe the specific actions that were taken to verify the correction. The State verified as corrected all issues of noncompliance identified in FFY 2010.  The process to verify correction of noncompliance is described above.
If the State does not report 100 percent compliance in the FFY 2011 APR, the State must review its improvement activities and revise them, if necessary to ensure compliance. The State reviewed and revised its improvement activities.

Improvement Activities Completed in 2011-12

  • To improve timely correction of noncompliance, the Office of Special Education continued the use of electronic notices, sent to school 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.  Special education monitoring staff also receive copies of the electronic notices and take appropriate proactive actions, including direct follow-up upon a finding that noncompliance was not corrected within nine months.
  • Monitoring staff provided targeted technical assistance to administrators and all CPSE chairpersons in the Buffalo and Syracuse City Public Schools regarding compliance areas and effective practices to improve the overall operations of the CPSE process in the district and foster timely practices under Indicator 11.
  • Monitoring staff in the Central Regional Office and regional partners provided a one-day technical assistance session to mid-State preschool providers and chairpersons in the areas of prior written notice, monitoring of progress of annual goals, annual reviews and transition from CPSE to CSE services.
  • The State continued to provide a three-day training program for chairpersons of CSEs and CPSEs, which includes training on the timelines and process for conducting individual initial evaluations and determining eligibility for special education.  In 2011-12, 47 three-day sessions were provided throughout NYS.
  • Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDCs) funded by the State and NYS Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) staff facilitated regional meetings with preschool evaluators and school districts to identify and address the reasons that preschool students were not receiving their evaluations within the required timelines.
  • The State met with representatives from other States, led by federal resource centers, to discuss issues around correction of noncompliance in large school districts.  NYS continues to participate as a member of a workgroup to address this issue.
  • State law was amended to address corporate practice law limitations that were affecting the State’s ability to approve new evaluators.
  • The State and NYC are implementing court settlement actions under two court cases:  DD and Jose P., both relating to timely evaluations and placements of students with disabilities.
  • The State’s regulations were amended in 2012 to conform the State’s timeline for timely preschool evaluations to 60 calendar days, consistent with the State’s timeline for school-age students with disabilities.
  • ECDCs provided technical assistance to families, including mobile military families that have a child with a disability, on topics such as warning signs that might indicate the need for an evaluation, the referral process and identification of young children with disabilities, the evaluation process and available services.  The ECDCs also provided technical assistance to professionals on topics such as the referral and timeline process.
  • The State increased the amount of IDEA discretionary funds by 25 percent for each of the ECDCs to provide increased technical assistance capacity throughout the State relating to preschool special education.
  • ECDCs collaborated with Department of Health, SEQA, Parent Center and RSE-TASC staff to address issues related to initial evaluations and timelines.
  • ECDCs disseminated comprehensive lists of approved evaluators to school districts, parents and preschool special education programs, and assisted bilingual families in obtaining translators for evaluation purposes.
  • Links to technical assistance resources were provided to school districts with their notifications of findings of noncompliance.

Revisions, with Justification, to Proposed Targets / Improvement Activities / Timelines / Resources for FFY 2012 [If applicable]

A bill to amend State law to allow the district to select the preschool evaluator, in consideration of a parent’s preference, will be submitted to the legislature in 2013.

The State established a unit within the Office of Special Education to specifically address preschool special education issues.

In 2013, the State will monitor 35 preschool evaluation programs, which includes NYC Department of Education’s Preschool Assessment Centers which has a total of four sites responsible for all preschool evaluations conducted in NYC to ensure such programs are operating in compliance with State requirements to provide timely evaluations.


1 Effective April 2012, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education were amended to align the preschool initial evaluation timeline of 30 school days from receipt of consent, to the federal timeline for initial evaluations and the timeline established in New York State for school-age evaluations, which is 60 calendar days.

2 For preschool evaluations completed prior to April 2012, the timeline calculation was 30 school days from date of parental consent to evaluate.

3 The 15,158 parental consents to evaluate were received does not include another 1,730 students whose evaluations were completed beyond the required timeline, but for reasons authorized in the exception provided in 34 CFR §300.301(d).

Last Updated: September 16, 2013