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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Local Determinations/Notification to Districts Expected Week of July 28, 2008

Source: Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Special Education Contacts

Date:  July 25, 2008

In the next week, a letter will be sent to the superintendent of each responsible public agency with a copy to the special education contact.  This letter will include a determination category for each district, evaluating the agency's progress on some of the State Performance Plan (SPP) targets.  The categories are the same as those used by the U. S. Department of Education in identifying states' progress on the State Performance Plan (SPP) targets.  For more information on the SPP and the 20 indicators and targets:

http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/PDF/MOPartBSPP.pdf

The categories used for these determinations are the same categories used by the U. S. Department of Education's identification of states.  See the SELS message of  June 10, 2008 for an explanation of Missouri's determination category of "Meets Requirements".

States are given discretion to develop the criteria used to identify local responsible public agencies.  This year, that criteria had to be applied at a minimum to the required areas of: Audit Findings; Timely and Accurate Data; SPP Indicators 12 (Transition from First Steps to ECSE),15 (Uncorrected Noncompliance),11(Initial Timelines), 13 (Secondary Transition Planning) and  9 and 10 (Disproportionality).

This was the first year states were required to address SPP indicators

9,10,11 and 13.

It is important to remember that none of these required areas involve quality performance issues.  They are, instead, compliance type items.

Additionally, it is important to remember that the determinations for compliance indicators are based on data from the 2005-2006 school year.

Therefore, the identification may not accurately reflect where your agency is currently.  We have attempted, in development of the criteria, to allow credit for the hard work and efforts to correct non-compliance.

States were given discretion to include SPP Indicators that addressed performance issues.  In Missouri, to be consistent with our focus on the areas of transition and elementary achievement, we have included the performance indicators related to graduation, drop-out rates, and assessments in elementary education in the Communication Arts area.  The determinations for these performance indicators are based on 2006-2007 data.

We encourage you to discuss these determinations with your superintendent, your parent advisory groups, and other community stakeholders as soon as possible, as media attention is possible once the letters are sent out.

Thank you for your continued hard work on behalf of students with disabilities.