In This Issue:
Message from OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams
I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for the month of May. Like March, April is ending cold with a “freeze watch” in effect for a large part of the Washington D.C. metro area for tonight. For the next five months I know that warm weather with just a touch of humidity is in store for us, and I can’t wait.
In addition to warmer weather, Mother’s Day, graduations, and Mental Health Awareness Month, there is another event that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but should. Before Memorial Day, the Department’s National Center for Education Statistics issues its annual report entitled the Condition of Education. Like the Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Condition of Education is a Congressionally mandated annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. It does include some data on students with disabilities, but I find it essential reading to compare data collected under IDEA with other data collected across the Department. Here’s an example.
In April, OSEP released its latest Fast Fact on the Students With Disabilities Who Are English Learners (ELs) Served Under IDEA Part B and some of the data was eye opening: For example, Six States and the District of Columbia had more than a 100% increase in the number of students with disabilities who are English learners between the 2012 and 2020 school year. But when cross referencing the IDEA data with the Condition of Education data, you can see similar increases in English Learners rates when comparing the 2013 Condition of Education Report and the 2021 Condition of Education Report.
I love that we are increasingly diverse as a country (if you’re interested here’s a great visualization of all the languages spoken in and near Washington D.C.). However, there are some caution signs as well. As shown in our Fast Fact, more than 60% of English Learners are identified as having either a specific learning disability or a speech or language impairment, which leads me to believe that some English Learners are being identified as eligible for special education and related services, not because they have a disability, but because they are English learners—which IDEA expressly prohibits, and might I add wreaks of inequity.
Finally, I wanted to share some resources with you. Just before I came to OSEP, we issued a detailed policy letter on English learners that includes resources that address best practices for developing IEPs for English learners and for teachers of English learners with disabilities. Also, in a regular check-in we have with the Institute of Education Sciences (our colleagues who work on the floor below us), we discussed the Habla DLL website—which was created by Dr. Xigrid Soto-Boykin, a bilingual speech pathologist who just completed an IES postdoctoral fellowship. Her background and work supporting English learners is really fantastic and inspiring, and shows the value of research to practice and putting tools in the hands of those who are closest to our students, namely parents, teachers and instructional support personnel.
OSEP April 2022 Policy Letters Released
OSEP’s April 7, 2022 Letter to Tymeson addresses requirements related to the provision of physical education, including adapted physical education (APE), to children with disabilities, including ensuring that each child with a disability participates with nondisabled children in these programs and activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the child.
OSEP’s April 15, 2022 Letter to Zirkel addresses requirements related to IDEA’s due process and state complaint procedures including: certain required content for a due process complaint; due process hearings timelines, including expedited due process hearings; the authority of hearing officers to order certain remedies; the authority of hearing officers to issue “summary judgment” on an IDEA due process complaint; and consideration of state guidance and applicable case law in the state’s resolution of an IDEA state complaint.
Technical Assistance (TA) Calls
Upcoming TA Calls:
There will be no OSEP Monthly TA Calls during the month of May.
Previous TA Calls:
(All National TA calls are recorded and typically posted within a week)
State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports (APRs)
Thank you for your timely clarification submissions. We are in the process of reviewing each SPP/APR clarification submission in preparation for determinations.
IDEA Part B/C Grants
Thank you for posting your grant applications to fulfill the public participation requirements.
Again, as a reminder:
Part C applications are due to OSEP on May 13, 2022.
Part B applications are due to OSEP on May 27, 2022.
Part B Programs: If your state has revised its Significant Disproportionality procedures since the initial submission of the Significant Disproportionality Form in 2020 or, you would like to provide additional information or clarification regarding your state’s definition for significant disproportionality, please submit an updated document to OSEP. Revisions that require an updated form include modifications to your risk ratio thresholds, minimum cell sizes, minimum n-sizes, standards for measuring reasonable progress, and rationales for each, or the number of years of data used in making annual determinations of significant disproportionality.
States that need to update their Significant Disproportionality Form should access the document from the OSEP IDEA website at Resources for Grantees.
Updated Significant Disproportionality Forms are due to OSEP no later than May 27, 2022, the same date as the FFY 2022 IDEA Part B grant application.
Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)
There will be no OSEP Technical Assistance Call on DMS during the months of May and June as our teams will be conduction Phase II monitoring with states.
To review other resources and documents related to our monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS Reports, and older monitoring reports), please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website.
OSEP is excited to release a new OSEP Fast Facts: Students with Disabilities who are English Learners (ELs) Served under IDEA Part B, which explore our IDEA, Section 618 data with the specific lens on one of the fastest-growing populations of students with disabilities served under IDEA.
- Approximately 1.6% of students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools are dually identified as a student with a disability under IDEA, Part B and an English Learner (EL).
- The number of students with disabilities that are ELs in the U.S. grew by close to 30% between school year (SY) 2012 and SY 2020. Fifty-one states, outlying areas, and freely associated states saw an increase in the number of students with disabilities served under IDEA, Part B.
- ELs were more likely to drop out of school, less likely to graduate with a regular high school diploma, and more likely to receive a certificate as compared to all students served under IDEA, Part B.
- ELs were more likely to be identified with specific learning disability and speech or language impairment and less likely to be identified with other health impairment, autism, and emotional disturbance as compared to all school aged students served under IDEA, Part B.
OSEP Fast Facts is an ongoing effort to display data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 into graphic, visual representations with the intent to present 618 data quickly and clearly.
Visit the OSEP Fast Facts page for existing and future Fast Facts.
More States Than Ever Successfully Using Generate
Generate, the automated EDFacts reporting solution developed by the Center for the Integration of IDEA Data (CIID), was utilized by 10 states to produce data that was submitted to the EDFacts system in the recently completed child count reporting cycle. This marks the highest number of states to ever use the Generate application in one cycle and represents the production of approximately 50 files across the school, local education agency, and state levels.
New Article on Identifying Infants and Toddlers Who Are Deaf-Blind
National Center on Deaf-Blindness staff recently collaborated with staff at the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center to write an online article called The Importance of Identifying Infants and Toddlers with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss for the ZERO TO THREE Journal. It describes how newborns benefit from services offered by state deaf-blind projects, provides data on the number of infants and toddlers who are deaf-blind, and offers resources for families and providers.
TIES Inclusive Leadership Resources
Leaders who visualize inclusive education for all students and understand how the components of effective systems weave together are key to achieving meaningful system change. TIES Center has two new resources on inclusive leadership and systems change to support state, district, and school leaders, as well as institutes of higher education.
First, in the Inclusive Leaders Video Journal educational leaders share their experiences with building sustainable inclusive systems that enhance all students’ learning, including students with disabilities. Video clips of the leaders are interspersed throughout the journal for quick, engaging reading.
Second, the Inclusive Leadership Series: Video Clip Library is a unique resource to help fill a need for a “just right clip” on inclusive education for a professional development course, to jumpstart a team discussion, or for use in a leadership course. It is a curated collection of excerpts from interviews with these inclusive leaders.
State, district, and school leaders along with higher education instructors can use both resources to consider the why, what, and how of implementing and sustaining inclusive education that improves educational outcomes for all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities.
The Revised DaSy Data System Framework is Now Available!
Do you need guidance on data system design and development? Are you looking for ways to improve your program’s use of data? Are you working on data governance and management policies?
The updated Data System Framework assists Part C and Part B 619 programs in developing and enhancing high-quality state data systems. Originally developed in 2014, the framework has been revised to make it easier for states to use. One focus of the revision was to strengthen the framework’s treatment of centering equity in data systems. The earlier version of the framework did not address equity explicitly, which meant that a state data system could be considered high quality when it did not reflect equitable data practices. The framework was revised to make it more explicit that a high-quality data system must address equity. The revised framework can be used to develop and enhance data systems that support the identification and correction of inequities in access, service delivery, and outcomes.
Newest Interactive Lesson: Cultivating Leadership
SISEP is offering a newly developed interactive lesson, Cultivating Leadership. This lesson will help you:
- Define roles of executive sponsors and champions
- Identify champions
- Support champion reflection and actions
Research Highlights from the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)
The Institute for Education Science’s NCSER funds research designed to expand knowledge and understanding of learners with and at risk for disabilities, from infancy through postsecondary settings. We share an update below on findings related to special education.
Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood: Preliminary and Long-Term Impacts provides updates on two research grants focused on ASD in early childhood, one developing a framework for supporting toddlers and the other examining the long-term effects of a comprehensive early elementary school intervention.
Indicators of Effective Technical Assistance Practices
This resource, Indicators of Effective Technical Assistance Practices, presents the indicators of effective technical assistance (TA) practices to facilitate TA provider understanding, use, evaluation, and improvement of those practices. Effective TA provides a pathway to improvement through activities and materials that promote new behaviors, practices, beliefs, and understandings of staff in the systems served. The nine Identified key practices ensure that TA successfully supports State and local leaders to bring about the desired changes in systems and practices.
Get ready! The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) will be holding its virtual Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference during the week of July 18, 2022.
Registration for the conference is open. Refer to the conference audience lists below to see who should attend. Whether planning to attend or present (or both!), everyone should register.
Check the Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference website for additional information and conference updates.
Department of Education
Check the Department's COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel web page for information and resources, including information and resources from other Federal agencies.
OSEP’s IDEA Covid-19 Questions and Answers and Resources
The National Center for Systemic Improvement is the primary source for TA resources during the COVID-19 national emergency for IDEA Part B programs. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is the primary source for IDEA Part C programs.
Visit the OSERS Blog
Visit our blog for powerful stories and useful information from parents, families, educators, and practitioners in the field. Be sure to bookmark sites.ed.gov/osers for future posts!
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This newsletter may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the Department Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.