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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Post-Secondary Follow-up/DROP-OUT DATA MUST BE COLLECTED

Source: Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Special Education Administrators

Date: May 22, 2009

As I mentioned in my April 1, 2009, webinar, the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has revised the State Performance Plan (SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR) indicator that deals with post-secondary outcomes.  The webinar is available at, and a summary of the changes is posted at

For the past couple of years, the Department has been collecting and reporting the exit information on dropouts through a variety of sources.

However, due to the changes in reporting now required, that is no longer feasible.  We looked at many different ways we might collect this information and feel the best way to do it at this point is to have districts collect and submit the data for both dropouts and graduates.

We understand that conducting follow-up on dropouts will pose some difficulties for districts, especially for this year, as you will have to recreate information for the past year. 

Recall during my webinar, I shared that we would likely need you to collect this information and suggested you do the best you could to ensure you had good contact information for students who dropped out this past school year.  I wish I could have given you more advanced notice than that, but we had just found out the information from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

In order to accomplish this in the most efficient and effective manner possible, we are encouraging districts to contract with an entity (possibly a nearby university) to conduct their follow-up for dropouts and suggest your district could use stimulus funds for the next year or two to pay for this.  In the meantime, we will continue to look into ways to assist districts in conducting follow-ups for both graduates and dropouts, and I am open to suggestions for implementation in future years.

To summarize, in order to comply with reporting changes at the federal level, districts will have to submit follow-up data on both dropouts and graduates for students with disabilities who exited during the 2008-09 school year.  This follow-up data for dropouts and graduates will be reported to DESE using the MOSIS Graduate Follow-up file in February 2010.  DESE is in the process of making changes to the code sets for reporting follow-up and districts will be notified of these changes as soon as possible.  If you have questions regarding collecting and/or reporting this follow-up data, contact the Data Coordination Section at or 573-526-0299.