Special Education

State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2012 - Revised February 2011 - Indicator 19

Overview of the State Performance Plan Development

See Overview of the State Performance Plan Development preceding Indicator 1.
In addition, New York State (NYS) consulted with its Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services (CAP) to establish extended targets and improvement activities for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 and FFY 2012.  The State’s technical assistance and support networks were also involved in these discussions.

Monitoring Priority: Effective General Supervision Part B / General Supervision

Indicator 19:  Percent of mediations held that resulted in mediation agreements.
(20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))


Percent = (2.1)(a)(i) + 2.1(b)(i)) divided by (2.1) times 100. (This formula references data contained in the rows of the table below labeled, “Attachment 1: Section B.”)

Data Source:

NYS will use data collected and reported to the United States Education Department (USED) annually in the 618 report on Table 7 of Information Collection 1820-0677 (Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Overview of Issue/Description of System or Process

Section 4404-a of NYS Education Law and section 200.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations establish the procedures for mediation as a means for parents and school districts to resolve disagreements regarding the education of a student with a disability. 

The State Education Department (SED) contracts with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA) to oversee the special education mediation process. In NYS, independent mediators furnished by a Community Dispute Resolution Center through the Office of Court Administration, conduct mediation sessions.  SED and NYSDRA jointly develop training programs, which NYSDRA provides to the mediators. 

Baseline Data for FFY 2004 (2004-05)

The percent of mediation sessions held in 2004-05 that resulted in mediation agreements to resolve the dispute was 95.50 percent. 

Discussion of Baseline Data 

The baseline data for 2004-05 that was submitted in the 2006 SPP has been revised. The original data submitted contained a double count of mediation cases which affected each of the categories. This double count adversely affected the percent of mediations resulting in agreement. In addition the calculation of percent of mediation agreements was calculated using the number of mediations requested not the number of mediations held.  The data does not distinguish between the number of agreements resulting from mediations initiated separate from due process requests and those mediations that result from due process requests.  NYS will begin to collect data that identifies whether the mediation request preceded a request for an impartial hearing in 2005-06. 

Attachment 1
SECTION B: Mediation requests
  9/1/02-8/31/03 9/1/03-8/31/04 9/1/04-8/31/05
(2)  Mediation requests total 468 400 511
(2.1)  Mediations 356 292 379
(a)  Mediations related to due process **Not available
(i)   Mediation agreements **Not Available
(b)  Mediations not related to due process 356 292 379
(i)  Mediation agreements 353 287 362
(2.2)  Mediations not held (including pending) 112 108 132
**Note: 2004-05 data was not collected in the manner requested in SPP/APR attachment 1

As the table above indicates, there has been an increase in the number of mediation sessions requested in the last three years from 486 mediation sessions during the period 9/1/02–8/31/03 to 511 requested during 9/1/04–8/31/05 and the percent of mediation sessions resulting in agreement has decreased from 99.16 percent in 2002-03 to the current 95.50 percent in 2004-05. Other than an increase in the number of hearings not held or pending it is not clear what has contributed to the decease in the percent of mediations resulting in agreement.

Measurable and Rigorous Targets

FFY Measurable and Rigorous Target
95 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements. 
95 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements. 
95.5 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements. 
96 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements.
96.5 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements.
97 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements.
97 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements.
97 percent of mediations held will result in mediation agreements.
*The targets noted above were revised from the 2006 SPP submission to reflect corresponding increases based on the revised baseline data.
** In FFY 2009, USED requested states to add two additional years to the SPP, including adding two additional years of targets

Improvement Activities/Timelines/Resources

Activity Timeline Resources
Provide oversight of the State mediation system. 2005-11 NYSDRA
Provide update sessions to mediators regarding IDEA and State law and regulations relating to special education and train new mediators.
Beginning in 2009, training for special education mediators will be provided annually. (Added by APR 2/09)

Office of Special Education (OSE) staff
Add to the contract requirements for State funded parent centers the goal of promoting the use of mediation and resolution sessions. (Added by APR  2/08) 2008-09
State-funded Parent Centers
Pilot use of IEP facilitators through the mediation process (Added by APR 2/08) 2010-12 State funded mediation contractor
Review recommendations developed by stakeholders and other States to improve and increase the use of mediations in NYS.  2005-06
OSE staff
Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)
Regional Resource Centers
Revise and widely disseminate informational materials on the benefits of using mediation (Added by APR 2/08) 2008-09
State funded mediation contractor
Benchmark with other States and seek technical assistance from the national center on dispute resolution to increase the use of mediation prior to requesting impartial hearings. (Added by APR 2/08) 2009-12 OSE policy staff in collaboration with State funded mediation contractor
Add to contract with NYS Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA):
  • Collaborate with Parent Centers to conduct 15 regional sessions on strategies that result in early and nonadversarial dispute resolution between parents and school districts, including resolution sessions.
  • Pilot individualized education program (IEP) facilitation as a means to reach agreement between parents and school districts.
(Added by APR 2/10)
2010-12 NYSDRA
State funded Parent Centers
*Note: Extended the end dates to 2012 coinciding with extended dates of the SPP (rev. 2/11).
Last Updated: February 28, 2011 #EndDate -->ate --> ate -->