Targeting Outcomes and Improving Results

Improving Results for Youth and Children With Disabilities

August 2018: In This Issue

Top News: OSEP's Next Virtual Symposium is Oct. 15!

We just announced our latest installment of the virtual symposia series, Effective Strategies to Enhance High-Quality Implementation of IEPs (individualized education programs). This interactive virtual event will take place on Oct. 15, 2018, from 1:303:30 p.m. EDT. Registration and additional details will become available soon. Check out our symposia archives for materials and presentations from previous events.

Inside OSEP: Ruth's Report

Message From Acting Director Ruth Ryder

Hello Leaders!

Earlier this month, I participated in the Improving Data, Improving Outcomes Conference (IDIO), sponsored by several of OSEP’s technical assistance (TA) centers. IDIO brought together over 500 early intervention and early childhood staff, data managers, and families. We encourage you to explore materials from the conference's plentiful and extremely useful workshops and sessions, now available  online


As part of IDIO, states celebrated 15 years of collecting child and family outcome data for early childhood programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). States' IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 (preschool) programs have led the way in figuring out how to appropriately collect, report, and use meaningful outcome data on young children and families receiving services under IDEA. Be sure to check out the newly released outcome data highlights in Early Childhood Check-in below.

Results Driven Accountability: What's Due and What's New


OSEP's Monitoring and State Improvement Planning division conducts many state-focused activities under the umbrella of Results Driven Accountability (RDA). You can read more about this innovative initiative to target educational results for children and youth with disabilities and their families here

State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs)

OSEP state leads have been busy this summer, conducting calls with states to provide initial feedback on their SSIP Phase 3, Year 2, submissions. They will continue to be available for calls throughout the year to support states’ implementation of the SSIP.

    Monthly National TA Call

    Following a brief summer hiatus, OSEP's monthly national TA calls with states will resume in September. At that time, we'll walk participants through what to expect in the coming year's Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS) process. We will communicate with states once more details become available.

    Dose of Data: New Resources for Meaningful Data


    New! Early Childhood Data Culture Toolkit

    DaSy (the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems) recently released the Data Culture ToolkitThe resource contains information and tools to assist IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 program staff with building effective data teams and supporting conditions for a culture of data use at the state and local levels. It offers infographics, worksheets, templates, a self-assessment tool, and more. These are intended to facilitate a five-step process in which states (1) formalize their data team and its vision and purpose; (2) assess their data use culture; (3) prioritize their data team’s critical questions; (4) assess and improve their data quality; and (5) explore and use data. 

    Early Childhood Check-in: Highlights From the Latest Child and Family Outcomes Data

    Early intervention family photo

    States' IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 systems have been implementing outcomes measurement systems for nearly 15 years! These data are a critical part of states’ accountability and program improvement efforts. To get a clear national picture of early intervention and preschool special education program results, national data are summarized annually by the OSEP-funded centers, ECTA  (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center) and DaSy

    The centers have developed new resources to present highlights from the most recent data and overall trends, including those on IDEA child outcomes for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 and IDEA family data for FFY 2016. Both topics are available as interactive webpages and accessible, downloadable PDFs. You will note that the national child and family outcomes data show little year-to-year change, which speaks to their high quality. States continue to implement strategies for ensuring data quality and to use their data to inform program improvement efforts.  


    Open Funding Opportunity From OSEP

    OSEP recently announced funding opportunities for state TA projects and a national TA center to support these projects in improving services and results for children who are deaf-blind. Read more about this opportunity to establish and support institutions and initiatives that serve this diverse group of children with complex needs in the Federal RegisterApplications are due Sept. 20, 2018.

    Resources for You: New Letters, Literacy Tools, and State- and Parent-focused Webinars


    Family-focused Tutorial From the National Center on Improving Literacy

    The National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) has developed an online tutorial for families that want to learn more about supporting their child’s literacy development at home. The tutorial provides evidence-based strategies, tips, and activities to help children develop literacy skills from preschool through adolescence, all in an interactive online experience.  

    Supporting Your Child's Literacy Development tutorial

    New! OSEP Letters

    July 27, 2018: Letter to Mason addresses which factors school staff should consider in determining whether shortened school days are factored into a change of placement decision.  


    Aug. 2, 2018: Letter to Siegel addresses whether a local educational agency (LEA) has a duty to notify parents of their rights under IDEA prior to their child being referred for an evaluation and identified as a child with a disability.


    Aug. 2, 2018: Letter to McDowell addresses whether IEP Teams may consider interveners an appropriate related service for children who are deaf-blind, even though interveners are not specifically identified in the list of examples of related services in IDEA.


    Aug. 2, 2018: Letter to Anonymous addresses children with disabilities who transfer to new states within the same school year, and whether the new LEA must evaluate them if they already meet the new state’s eligibility criteria. It also addresses whether a formal review of the child's existing evaluation data (by a school psychologist) is required or if an IEP Team discussion and decision would be sufficient.


    Aug. 23, 2018: Letter to Anonymous addresses whether a public agency may limit the amount of time an independent evaluator is allotted to observe a child in the child’s educational setting when the evaluator is paid by the parent and not by the public agency.


    Aug. 23, 2018: Letter to Fletcher addresses how expedited due process hearings should be scheduled when there are fewer than 20 school days left in the school year (SY), and whether holding such a hearing within the last 20 days of the SY would be consistent with IDEA.

    Webinars: Georgia State Spotlight and Dispute Resolution Family Guides

    The CEEDAR Center (Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform) spotlighted successes in Georgia via a webinar on Aug. 30. The webinar, Spreading Out and Scaling up: Georgia's Strategic Approach to Implementing High-leverage Practices Through Multi-tiered Systems of Supports, emphasized the state's use of existing structures to spread high-leverage practices to pre- and in-service professionals who are serving the needs of all students. Read more here. The presentation will be archived here.


    On Sept. 10, from 34:15 p.m. EDT, the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) will host the webinar Introducing the Part C Dispute Resolution Family Guides. This webinar will feature experts from CADRE and the national Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). The webinar will recommend to parent centers and families ways to use the soon-to-be-released guides that were designed with IDEA Part C families in mind. The guides will discuss mediation, due process hearings, and written state complaints. Supplemental resources for these families will also be released on the CADRE website soon.


    We encourage you to register for the event in advance. If you’re unable to join the live presentation, a recording will be made available on CADRE's website. 

      Research News: Strengthening Reading Instruction

      NCTQ logo

      This month, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a very brief report, the Strengthening Reading Instruction Databurst. The report digs into years of data from the National Institutes of Health and ED's Institute of Education Sciences to analyze the preparation of elementary and special educators in reading instruction, emphasizing the critical need to implement the most successful teaching methods. The report found that a mere 11 states require what NCTQ researchers deem "a sufficient test" of the science of reading for both elementary and special education teacher candidates. Please note that the NCTQ website will prompt you for contact information when you attempt to download the report. If you do not wish to submit your information or subscribe to the NCTQ newsletter, you can select "I do not wish to subscribe" followed by "Download report."

      Collaboration Corner: Upcoming Collaborative Meetings on ESSA Implementation and More

      ED logo SSRP

      ED's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Elementary and Secondary and Elementary Education (OESE) will partner with the National Center on Educational Outcomes to host a convening related to new requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act regarding student participation in the alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards. The convening will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 18–19, 2018. States have been notified of the details for registering and participating in the event. We look forward to a productive meeting!

      We're also collaborating with OESE's Office of State Support to host the upcoming Combined Federal Programs Meeting in December 2018. More information can be found here.

      Voices From the Field: Dan Gaffney on Oregon's Preschool Improvement and Expansion


      This month, we interviewed Dan Gaffney from Clatsop County, Oregon. Gaffney is a former elementary school principal and special education administrator who is currently leading creative and innovative efforts in his region to promote and expand high-quality early learning programs for his community’s most vulnerable young learners. In 2016, Gaffney's project was awarded an ED Preschool Pay for Success (PFS) Feasibility Study grant. We invite you to read the full interview, including more about Clatsop County's PFS project, on the OSERS Blog.

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      Engage With Us! Social Media and More


      Connect With OSERS and Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett on Twitter

      Twitter Logo Blue

      OSERS is on Twitter with the latest tweets from special education advocates, educators, families, and students. Follow us @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends. Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett has joined the conversation, too! Follow him today @JCollettOSERS. We'll see you in the Twittersphere!

      Visit the OSERS Blog and OSEP Newsletter Archive

      Visit our blog for powerful stories and useful information from parents, families, educators, and practitioners in the field. Be sure to bookmark for future posts!


      IDEA website image_children with disabilities

      You can also check out the IDEA website newsletter archive for past editions of the OSEP Update. Readers are invited to send their feedback on the newsletter to

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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 U.S. Department of Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.