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Subject: Local Determinations/Notifications Mailed to Superintendents August 20, 2007
Source: Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Special Education Contacts

Date: August 20, 2007

Today, letters were mailed to responsible public agencies informing them of the determination category used to identify the agency's progress on selected State Performance Plan (SPP) targets. See SELS of August 14, 2007, for explanation. Special education contacts were copied on the letters.

The categories used for these determinations are the same categories used by the U. S. Department of Education's identification of states:
* Meets the requirements and purposes of the IDEA;
* Needs assistance in implementing the requirements of IDEA;
* Needs intervention in implementing the requirements of IDEA;
* Needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements of IDEA.

The letter identifies the criteria used statewide in this determination process. It is important to understand that this is the first year of such determinations and that the data the determinations are based on, as required by the U. S. Department of Education, is from 2004-2005 and in some cases 2005-2006. Therefore, it may not accurately reflect your current data.

It is also important to understand that four of the areas (Audit Findings, Correction of Non-Compliance, Transition Timelines for Transition from First Steps to ECSE, and Timely/Accurate Data) are focused solely on compliance and not quality performance. The additional four (Graduation Rate, Dropout Rate, Assessment Participation, and Assessment Performance) are performance indicators.  The former were required by the U. S. Department of Education, and the latter were added on as a part of the determination process by us and reflect our focus on these areas in our performance reviews.

Additional areas are anticipated to be required next year by the U. S. Department of Education; information will be shared when we know more about those additional areas.

As a result of the process, 469 responsible public agencies were identified in the first category of "Meets the requirements" and 52 responsible public agencies were identified in the second category of "Needs Assistance." No agencies were identified in the two lower categories. (Component school districts of the two Special School Districts (SSDs) are not included in this count; the data from these are included in the determination label for the SSDs.)

Agencies should closely monitor their trend data to ensure there is no slippage. Additionally, keep in mind that the determinations are based on a different set of data and criteria than that used in making compliance decisions or improvement plan recommendations during the cyclical monitoring process.

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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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