“We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations, have access to a robust curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel.” Secretary of Education , Arne Duncan
Until recently, the Department of Education’s primary focus was evaluating states compliance meeting procedural requirements- timelines for evaluations, due process hearings and transition services. Under the new framework, Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the Department will also include educational results and outcomes for students with disabilities in making each state’s annual determination under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
“Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel. We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the supports and services they need to succeed.”
OSERS will fund a new $50 million technical assistance center – the Center on Systemic Improvement – to help states leverage the $11.5 billion in federal special education funds which they currently receive to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Additionly, OSERS will be working with each state to support them in developing comprehensive plans designed to improve results for children with disabilities.
“Less than 10 percent of our nation’s eighth graders with IEPs are scoring proficient in reading, according to the best available data. We can and must do better,” said Michael Yudin, acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. “RDA is about using the accountability framework to provide states with incentives and support to implement evidence-based strategies to improve results and outcomes for students with disabilities.”
IDEA requires the primary focus of federal and state monitoring to be on improving educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities and ensuring that each state meets the program requirements under IDEA. In particular, the law places an emphasis on those requirements that are the most closely related to improving educational and early intervention results for children with disabilities.