2019 SPP/APR and State Determination Letters PART B — American Samoa
OSEP Response to SPP/APRPDF
OSEP Response to SPP/APR
400 MARYLAND AVE. S.W., WASHINGTON DC 20202 -2600 www.ed.gov The Department of Education’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES June 20, 2019 Honorable Dr. Ruth S. Matagi -Tofiga Director of Education American Samoa Department of Education P.O. Box 2609 Pago Pago , AS 96799 Dear Director Matagi -Tofiga : I am writing to advise you of the U. S. Department of Education ’s (Department) 2019 determination under section 616 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Department has determined that American Samoa needs assistance in implementin g the requirements of Part B of the IDEA. This determination is based on the totality of American Samoa ’s data and information, including the Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR), other Entity -reported d ata, and other publicly available information. Protecting the rights of children with disabilities and their families is a key responsibility of States, but it is not sufficient if children are not attaining the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve th e goals of IDEA as reflected in Congressional findings in section 601(c)(1) of the IDEA: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self - sufficiency. To address this concern, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP ) has been using results data when making annual determinations for States under IDEA section 616(d) since 2014. OSEP is continuing to use both results and compliance data in making determinations for outlying areas, freely associated States, and the Burea u of Indian Education (the Entities) in 2019, as it did for determinations in 2018. American Samoa ’s 2019 determination is based on the data reflected in the Entity ’s “2019 Part B Results -Driven Accountability Matrix ” (RDA Matrix). The RDA Matrix is indiv idualized for each Entity and consists of: (1) a Compliance Matrix that includes scoring on Compliance Indicators and other compliance factors; (2) a Results Matrix that includes scoring on Results Elements; (3) a Compliance Score and a Results Score; (4) an RDA Percent age based on both the Compliance Score and the Results Score; and (5) the Entity ’s Determination. The RDA Matrix is further explained in a document, entitled “How the Department Made Determinations under Section 616(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Edu cation Act in 2019: Page 2— Chief State School Officer Freely Associated States, Outlying Areas, and the Bureau of Indian Education -Part B ” (HTDMD). The specifics of the determination procedures and criteria are set forth in the HTDMD and reflected in the RDA Matrix for American Samoa . In m aking Part B determinations in 2019, OSEP used results data related to: (1) the participation of children with disabilities (CWD) on regular Statewide assessments; (2) the percentage of CWD who graduated with a regular high school diploma; and (3) the percentage of CWD who dropped out. The Secretary is considering modifying the factors the Department will use in making its determinations in June 2020 as part of its continuing emphasis on results for children with disabilities. Section 616(a)(2) of the IDEA requires that the primary focus of IDEA monitoring must be on improving educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities, and ensuring that States meet the IDEA program requirements, with an emphasis on those requirements that are most closely related to improving educational results for children with disabilities. The proposed Part B determinations process will include the same compliance factors as in past years, with one addition. For the 2020 determinations, rather than wei ghting each compliance factor equally, OSEP is considering assigning greater weight to those compliance factors most directly related to improving results for children with disabilities. For the 2020 determinations process we are also considering, as two a dditional results factors, State -reported data on: preschool child outcomes and the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). Using preschool outcomes for Part B determinations is consistent with the use of the early childhood outcomes factor that has been u sed for Part C determinations since 2015. Use of this factor emphasizes the importance of preschool outcomes in promoting later school success for students with disabilities. The inclusion of the SSIP as a results factor in making determinations would cont inue OSEP ’s emphasis on incorporating a results -driven approach as States identify evidence -based practices that lead to improved outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. In addition, we are considering several changes to the results factors re lated to the participation and performance of children with disabilities on assessments, including: (1) using Statewide assessment results, rather than the National Assessment of Educational Progress performance data; (2) looking at year -to-year improvemen ts in Statewide assessment results and taking into account the full Statewide assessment system, including alternate assessments; and (3) no longer comparing each State ’s assessment performance with that of other States. Finally, OSEP will be revisiting wa ys of measuring improvement in the graduation rate of students with disabilities. As we consider changes to how we use the data under these factors in making the Department ’s 2020 determinations, OSEP will provide parents, States, entities, LEAs, and other stakeholders with an opportunity to comment and provide input through OSEP ’s Leadership Conference in July 2019 and other meetings. You may access the results of OSEP ’s review of American Samoa ’s SPP/APR and other relevant data by accessing the SPP/APR m odule using your Entity -specific log -on information at https://osep.grads360.org . When you access American Samoa ’s SPP/APR on the site, you will find, in applicable Indicators 1 through 16, the OSEP Response to the indicator and any actions that the Entity is required to take. The actions that the Entity is required to take are in two places: Page 3— Chief State School Officer (1) actions related to the correction of findings of noncompliance are in the “OSEP Response ” section of the indicator; and (2) any other actions that the Entity is required to take are in the “Required Actions ” section of the indicator. It is important for you to review the Introduc tion to the SPP/APR, which may also include language in the “OSEP Response ” and/or “Required Actions ” sections. You will also find all of the following important documents saved as attachments to the Progress Page: (1) American Samoa ’s RDA Matrix; (2) the HTDMD document; (3) a spreadsheet entitled “2019 Data Rubric Part B, ” which shows how OSEP calculated American Samoa ’s “Timely and Accurate State -Reported Data ” score in the Compliance Matrix; and (4) a document entitled “Dispute Resolution 2017 -18,” which includes th e IDEA section 618 data that OSEP used to calculate American Samoa ’s “Timely State Complaint Decisions ” and “Timely Due Process Hearing Decisions ” scores in the Compliance Matrix. As noted above, American Samoa ’s 2019 determination is Needs Assistance. A State ’s or Entity ’s 2019 RDA Determination is Needs Assistance if the RDA Percentage is at least 60% but less than 80%. A State or Entity would also be Needs Assistance if its RDA Determination percentage is 80% or above but the Department has imposed Spec ial or Specific Conditions on the State ’s or Entity ’s last three IDEA Part B grant awards (for FFYs 2016, 2017, and 2018), and those Specific Conditions are in effect at the time of the 2019 determination. American Samoa ’s determination for 2018 was also N eeds Assistance. In accordance with section 616(e)(1) of the IDEA and 34 C.F.R. § 300.604(a), if a State or Entity is determined to need assistance for two consecutive years, the Secretary must take one or more of the following actions: (1) advise the State o r Entity of available sources of technical assistance that may help the State or Entity address the areas in which it needs assistance and require the State or Entity to work with appropriate entities; (2) direct the use of State or Entity -level funds on the area or areas in which the State or Entity needs assistance; or (3) identify the State or Entity as a high -risk grantee and impose Special Conditions on the State ’s or Entity ’s IDEA Part B grant award. Pursuant to these requirements, the Secretary is advisin g American Samoa of available sources of technical assistance, including OSEP -funded technical assistance centers and resources at the following website: https://osep.grads360.org/#program/highlighted -resources/ , and requiring American Samoa to work with appropriate entities. In addition, American Samoa should consider accessing technical assistance from other Department -funded ce nters such as the Comprehensive Centers with resources at the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/newccp/index.html . The Secretary dire cts American Samoa to determine the results elements and/or compliance indicators, and improvement strategies, on which it will focus its use of available technical Page 4— Chief State School Officer assistance, in order to improve its performance. We strongly encourage American Samoa to ac cess technical assistance related to those results elements and compliance indicators for which American Samoa received a score of zero. American Samoa must report with its FFY 2018 SPP/APR submission, due February 3, 2020, on: (1) the technical assistance so urces from which American Samoa received assistance; and (2) the actions American Samoa took as a result of that technical assistance. As required by IDEA section 616(e)(7) and 34 C.F.R. § 300.606, American Samoa must notify the public that the Secretary of E ducation has taken the above enforcement actions, including, at a minimum, by posting a public notice on its website and distributing the notice to the media and through public agencies. States and Entities were required to submit Phase III Year Three of t he SSIP by April 1, 2019. OSEP appreciates American Samoa ’s ongoing work on its SSIP and its efforts to improve results for students with disabilities. We have carefully reviewed your submission and will provide feedback in the upcoming weeks. Additionally , OSEP will continue to work with American Samoa as it implements the fourth year of Phase III of the SSIP, which is due on April 1, 2020. As a reminder , American Samoa must make its SPP/APR available to the public by posting it on it’s agency ’s website. Within the next several days, OSEP will be finalizing an Entity Profile that: (1) will be accessible to the public; (2) includes American Samoa ’s determination letter and SPP/ APR, and all related State and OSEP attachments; and (3) can be accessed via a URL unique to your Entity, which you can use to make your SPP/APR available to the public. We will provide you with the unique URL when it is live. OSEP appreciates American Samoa ’s efforts to improve results for children and youth with disabilities and looks forward to working with American Samoa over the next year as we continue our important work of improving the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Please con tact your OSEP State Lead if you have any questions, would like to discuss this further, or want to request technical assistance. Sincerely, Laurie VanderPloeg Director Office of Special Education Programs cc: American Samoa Director of Special Educati on
(Grant Year 2017–2018 — Issued June 20, 2019)
Some historical APRs can be found on the GRADS360 website Public Domain Clearinghouse for APRs. To find available APRs, filter by the state you want to find and then filter by the year. If you cannot find the APR you are looking for, contact the Partner Support Center at EDEN-Submission-System@ed.gov.
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