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VESID Committee



Rebecca H. Cort  


Results for Students with Disabilities and Strategies to Improve Performance



April 1, 2010


Goals 1 and 4




Issue for Discussion


Results for students with disabilities and strategies to improve performance. 

Reason for Consideration

For information.

Proposed Handling

              This report will come before the VESID Committee in April 2010 for discussion. 

Background Information

The 2005 total cohort outcomes and types of diplomas achieved by all students were presented to the Board in March. This report provides similar additional disaggregated data for the students with disabilities subgroup. Students with disabilities are approximately 13 percent of total enrollment in public and nonpublic schools. This report also provides summary data for the 2008-09 school years on some of the State Performance Plan (SPP) special education indicators. The 2008-09 school year is the fourth year of the State’s six-year State Performance Plan as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to measure the State’s progress on 20 compliance and performance indicators relating to students with disabilities.

The current report presents results on some of the key outcome measures for students with disabilities from the 2008-09 school year and describes targeted improvement actions VESID is taking to address these results.  The 2008-09 results for students on Grades 3-8 ELA and math State assessments were presented in June 2009. These results will be updated when the 2009-10 school year results become available. VESID uses the results in the areas of graduation, drop out, State assessments and certain compliance issues most related to results for students with disabilities to identify school districts as needing assistance or intervention or “at risk” of such identification.  VESID then directs intervention in these districts through our regional technical assistance network and dissemination of best practices.



Participation and Performance on State Assessments





Regents Examination Results





Exiting Data: Graduation and Dropouts Results

















Timely Evaluations of Students for Special Education Services

Based on data from a representative sample of 114 school districts for 9,456 preschool and school-age students for whom their parents provided consent to evaluate, 74.6 percent had their evaluations completed within State established timelines. This compliance rate has continued to improve from 64.2 in 2006-07 to 74.6 percent in the 2008-09 school year.

Transition of Children from Early Intervention to Preschool Special Education

Based on data for 2,849 children who were referred from the Early Intervention (EI) Program operated by the Department of Health before the age of three, 74.8 percent of children who were found eligible for preschool special education had their IEP implemented by their third birthday. These data were reported by 113 school districts that comprise a statewide sample of school districts that are representative of the State.



Transition Planning





Suspension Rates for Students with Disabilities





              The Department’s key initiatives to improve performance results for students with disabilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

Identification of low performing school districts for students with disabilities:

VESID identifies school districts as needing assistance or intervention and school districts identified as “at risk” of such identification, based on the results in the areas of graduation, drop out, State assessments and certain compliance issues most related to results for students with disabilities. 




Redesign of Special Education School Improvement Network

Effective July 1, 2009, VESID began implementation of a new redesigned school improvement network.  The focus of this network is to provide improved coordination and capacity to help sustain changes to the instructional programs that will lead to improved results for students with disabilities.  The new structure consists of 10 Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC).  Through the RSE-TASC, teams of professional staff are available to support school district improvement in such areas as literacy, behavior, special education instructional practices, transition and bilingual special education.  Below are highlights of some of the work that has already been accomplished through the RSE-TASC structure.








Response to Intervention Programs (RtI)

The Department continues its work to scale up the use of RtI by all school districts in New York State.  RtI is a multi-tiered, problem-solving approach that identifies general education students struggling in academic and behavioral areas early and provides them with systematically applied strategies and targeted instruction at varying levels of intervention. It is a nationally recognized process that provides instructionally relevant information to assist in the more appropriate identification of students with learning disabilities.  In 2009-10, VESID established a State Technical Assistance Center on RtI at the State College at Buffalo; awarded grants to 14 schools to develop model RtI programs; and in collaboration with a cross-Department team, developed a guidance document on RtI.    

Identify What Works and Promote Replication - Supporting Successful Strategies to Achieve Improved Results (S³TAIR Project)

Through a federal grant project, VESID identified 44 schools/school districts with effective instructional practices leading to improved results for students with disabilities in such areas as literacy instruction, positive behavioral interventions and supports, effective special education instructional practices (e.g., explicit instruction; strategy instruction) and transition planning.  Thirteen of these schools have been awarded grants to assist other school districts needing improvement or intervention to replicate these effective practices.  In addition, VESID is awarding replication grants to the school districts needing assistance or intervention to improve results for students with disabilities to incorporate these effective practices in their school districts. Additional information on this project can be found at

Special Education Parent Centers

Thirteen Special Education Parent Centers have been established statewide.  These Centers work with VESID to ensure parents have access to information to effectively participate in the special education process.

Partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)

VESID funds the Higher Education Support Center through Syracuse University.  This project promotes collaboration among IHEs, school districts and VESID's other special education technical assistance centers.  Notably, over this past year, HESC has collaborated with VESID to identify effective practice schools and to use VESID's Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guides for literacy, behavior and special education instruction to inform general and special education teacher preparation programs.

Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDC)

Fifteen ECDCs assist parents of preschool students with disabilities in the transition from Early Intervention Services to preschool special education and provide technical assistance to improve the State’s results in the timely evaluation and timely provision of services to preschool students with disabilities.