2019 SPP/APR and State Determination Letters PART B — Connecticut
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 Educat ion’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 Dianna Wentzell Commissioner of Education Connecticut State Department of Education 450 Columbus Blvd Hartford, CT 06103 Dear Commissioner Wentzell : 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 Connecticut meets the req uirements and purposes of Part B of the IDEA. This determination is based on the totality of the State’s dat a and information, including th e Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 State Performance Plan/ Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR), other State -reported dat a, and other publicly available information. Your State’s 2019 determination is based on the dat a reflected in the State’s “2019 Part B Results -Driven Accountability Matrix” (RDA Matrix). The RDA Matrix is individualized for each State and consists of: (1) a Compliance Matrix that includes scoring on Compliance Indicators and other comp liance factors; (2) a Results Ma trix that includes scoring on Results Elements ; (3) a Compliance Score and a Results Score ; (4) an RDA Percentage based on both the Compliance Score and the Results Score ; and (5) the State’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 Di sabilities Education Act in 2019 : Part B ” (HTDMD). The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is continuing to use both results data and compliance data in making d eterminations in 2019 , as it did for Part B determinations in 201 4, 2015, 2016, 2017 , and 2018 . (The specifics of the determination procedures and c riteria are set forth in the HTDMD and reflected in the RDA Matrix for your State.) In maki ng Part B determi nations in 2019 , OSEP continued to use results data related to: (1) the participation of children with disabilities (CWD) on regular Statewide assessme nts; (2) the participation and performance of CWD on the most recently administered (school year 201 6-201 7) Nat ional Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); Page 2— Chief State School Officer (3) the percentage of CWD who graduated with a regular high school diploma; and (4) the percentage of CWD who drop ped 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 tha t the primary focus of IDEA monitoring must be on improving educational results and functional ou tcomes for all children with disabilities, and ensuring that States meet the IDEA program requirements, with an emphasis on those requirements that are most cl osely 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 weighting each compliance factor equally, OSEP is considering assigning greater weight to thos e compliance factors most directly related to improving results for children with disabilities. For the 2020 determinations process we are also considering, as two additional re sults factors, State -reported data on: preschool child outcomes and the State S ystemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). Using preschool outcomes for Part B determinations is consistent with the use of the early childhood outcomes factor that has been used for Part C determinations since 2015. Use of this factor emphasizes the importance of p reschool outcomes in promoting later school success for students with disabilities. The inclusion of the SSIP as a results factor in making determinations would continue OSEP’s emphasis on incorporating a results -driven approach as States identify evidenc e-based practices that lead to improved outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. In addition, we are considering several changes to the results factors related to th e participation and performance of children with disabilities on assessments, i ncluding: (1) using Statewide assessment results, rather than the NAEP performance data; (2) looking at year -to-year improvements 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 ways of measuring improvement in the graduation rate of students with disabilities. As we consider changes to how we use the data u nder 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 p rovide input through OSEP’s Leadership Conference in July 2019 and other meetin gs. You may access the results of OSEP’s review of your State’s SPP/APR and other relevant data by accessing the SPP/APR module using your State -specific log -on information at osep.grads360.org. When you access your State’s SPP/APR on the site, you will f ind , in Indicators 1 through 16, the OSEP Response to the indicator and any actions that the State is required to take. The actions that the State is required to take are in two places: (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 State is required to take are in the “Required Actions” section of the indicator. It is important for you to review the Introduction to the SPP/APR, which may also include lang uage in the “ OSEP Response ” and/or “Required Actions ” sections . Page 3— Chief State School Officer You will also find all of the following important documents saved as attachments to the Progress Page: (1) the Stat e’s RDA Matrix; (2) the HTDMD document; (3) a spreadsheet entitled “2019 Data Rubric Part B,” which shows how OSEP calculated the State’s “Timely and Accurate State -Reported Data” score in the Compliance Matrix; and (4) a document entitled “Dispute Resolution 2017 -18,” which includes the IDEA section 618 data that OSEP used to calculate the St ate’s “Timely State Complaint Decisions” and “Timely Due Process Hearing Decisions” scores in the Compliance Matrix . As noted above, the State’s 2019 determination is Meets Req uirements. A State’s 2019 RDA Determination is Meets Requirements if the RDA Pe rcentage is at least 80%, unless the Department has imposed Special or Specific Conditions on the State’s last three IDEA Part B grant awards (for FFYs 2016, 2017, and 2018 ), an d those Speci fic Conditions are i n effect at the time of the 2019 determination . States were required to submit Phase II I Year Three of the SSIP by April 1, 2019 . OSEP appreciates the State’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 your State as it implement s the fourth year of Phase III of the SSIP , which is due on Ap ril 1 , 2020 . As a reminder, your State must report annually to the public, by posting on the State educational agency’s (SEA’s) website , the performance of each local educational agency (LEA) located in the State on the targets in the SPP/APR as soon as pra cticable, bu t no later than 120 days after the State’s submission of its FFY 2017 SPP/APR. In addition, your State must: (1) review LEA performance against targets in the State’s SPP/APR; (2) determine if each LEA “meets the requirements” of Part B, or “needs as sistance,” “ needs intervention,” or “needs substantial intervention” in implementing Part B of the IDEA ; (3) take appropriate enforcement action; and (4) inform each LEA of its determination. Further, your State must make its SPP/APR available to the public by posting it o n the SEA’s website . Within the next several days, OSEP will be finalizing a State Profile that: (1) will be accessible to the public; (2) includes the State’s determination letter and SPP/APR, and all related State and OSEP attachments; and (3) can be accessed via a URL unique to your State, 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 the State’s efforts to improve results for children and youth with disabilit ies and looks forward to working with your State over the next year as we continue our important work of improving the lives of children with disabilities and thei r families. Please contact your OSEP State Lead i f you have any questions, would like to disc uss this further, or want to request Page 4— Chief State School Officer technical assistance. OSEP conducted a monitoring visit in April 2019 and will issue a separate letter summarizing the result s of that visit. Sincerely, Laurie VanderPloeg Director Office of Special Education Pro grams cc: State Director of Special Education
(Grant Year 2017–2018 — Issued June 20, 2019)
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