Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


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Subject: Local Determinations/Notification to Districts Expected Week of August 20, 2007
Source: Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Special Education Contacts

Date: August 14, 2007

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:

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 messages of June 22, 2007, and June 20, 2007, for an explanation of Missouri's determination category of "Needs Assistance."

States are given discretion to develop the criteria used to identify local responsible public agencies; for this first year, that criteria had to be applied at a minimum to the required areas of: Audit Findings; SPP Indicator #12 (Transition from First Steps to ECSE); SPP Indicator
#15 (Uncorrected Noncompliance); Timely Data; and, Accuracy of Data.

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 determination is based on old data from the 2004-2005 period. 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 on graduation, drop-out rates, and assessments in elementary education in the Communication Arts area.

Overrall, we anticipate that most local agencies will be identified in the top two categories of "Meets the Requirements" of IDEA or "Needs Assistance." We encourage you to discuss this 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, and the media did not accurately report on this process in June when the state determination labels were made public. The letters will include an explanation of the criteria used.

Please keep in mind that the criteria used is subject to change next year and that additional performance areas will likely be required by the U. S. Department of Education next year.

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

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404


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