Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports
1870 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Fax: 404-651-6457


Increasing the Performance of Students With Disabilities
on Statewide Assessments

Superintendent of Schools

Director of Special Education
Georgia Department of Education
Kathy Cox, Superintendent of Schools
All Rights Reserved


Introduction and Statutory Authority

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees a free and appropriate public education be available to students with disabilities. The IDEA provides federal funds to assist states in carrying out this responsibility and to comply with the associated regulations. 34 CFR Section 300.600 of the IDEA requires that states ensure that local systems comply with federal regulations and meet the state’s educational standards as they provide educational programs for students with disabilities. The Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) provide this general supervision and monitoring of local systems through a variety of activities identified as Georgia’s Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process (GCIMP).

GCIMP is composed of multiple means for monitoring the local systems’ provision of a compliant and quality education for students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, evaluation of timelines for entry into special education, student record review, special education budget review, dispute resolution, district improvement plans, data profiles, and Focused Monitoring. An online manual will be available to all district special education directors detailing the components of GCIMP.

The State Advisory Panel for Special Education serves as the stakeholder committee for the GaDOE and advises the state on the development and implementation of the GCIMP, including Focused Monitoring. The stakeholders reviewed state data on the Performance Goals and Indicators for the students with disabilities and determined that the two priority indicators for FY08 (2007-2008 school year) would be increasing the performance of students with disabilities on statewide assessments when given appropriate accommodations  and decreasing the percentage of students with disabilities who drop out of school . For the performance indicator, the 2007 assessment data for all systems were reviewed and compared to systems with similar size populations of students with disabilities, and ranked within the similar size groups. Those systems with lower performance of students with disabilities in either reading or mathematics, within their respective size group, were selected for Focused Monitoring. For the dropout indicator, the 3 most recent years’ data were averaged and those systems with a higher dropout rates were selected for Focused Monitoring.

Focused Monitoring

School System was selected for Focused Monitoring in the area of achievement because the data indicated need for improvement when compared to other systems in the size group . The purpose of the Focused Monitoring site visit to School System was to identify reasons why the performance of students with disabilities in remains low and to begin to assist the system in the identification of strategies that improve achievement.


The Monitoring Team

The GaDOE authorized the following team to conduct on-site monitoring in the School System from to

, Team Leader, Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports, GaDOE
, District Liaison, Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports, GaDOE
, Special Education Administrator
, Parent of a student with a disability
Data Related to Focused Monitoring

The Spring 2007 AYP assessment data was used to identify the performance in . The data used was as follows:

Percent of Students with Disabilities Who Met or Exceeded Standards

Assessment data in 2005 2006
3rd-8th grade CRCT

A review of the data shows that when School System is compared with the other systems in the same size group, the percent of students with disabilities meeting standards in is below State Target. A review of previous years’ data also shows that the percentage of students with disabilities meeting standards in was below State Target. A review of the data also indicates that  . As part of the Focused Monitoring activities, the Local Education Agency(LEA) Implementation Plan submitted by the system for FY 2007 was reviewed. The School System have an Improvement Plan goal that targets improving performance in .

The system will be required to activities, using the findings contained in this report in its efforts to move forward in improving the achievement of students with disabilities. Please refer to the section "Required Evidence of Improvement" for specific information. Systems that fail to meet compliance criteria within one year and fail to make AYP in two years may be subject to sanctions from the GaDOE.


Additional Data

Prior to the on-site visit, available and related data were reviewed and considered. Data reviewed included:

Focused Monitoring survey from school based professionals
Focused Monitoring survey from central office professionals
Individual school test data and enrollment data
Individual student test data
System Data Profiles
System special education budget
Student and teacher rosters
On-site Process and Activities

The on-site activities of Focused Monitoring occurred during the week of: to . During that time the following activities took place:

Conducted a parent meeting with attendees
Visited schools
Reviewed student special education records
Conducted classroom observations
Interviewed the director of special education
Interviewed general education teachers
Interviewed special education teachers
Interviewed parents
Interviewed principals/assistant principals
Interviewed curriculum director(s)

Summary of On-Site Findings:

The monitoring team found noncompliance in the following area(s):

Required Evidence of Improvement:

The system’s 2009 assessment data must meet the annual measurable objective of by making AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup.


CAP Development

With the assistance of their local stakeholders and school administrators, the School System must develop a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). The CAP must 1) address the cited compliance items and 2) include a long range plan to improve the performance of students with disabilities on statewide assessments. The improvement activities must be added to the system’s LEA Improvement Plan in the consolidated application. The School District CAP must be completed and submitted through the MyGaDOE portal by .

Focused Monitoring Funds

Funds have been allocated for Systems in Focused Monitoring in FY08. These funds are allotted by system size and will be available after the CAP has been approved. School System will have up to available to use toward implementing the CAP and Improvement Plan. If the school district chooses to access these additional funds, the use of the funds must be clearly identified in the resources section of the CAP. Since funds are allocated in the current fiscal year, carryover can be granted to ensure implementation of the CAP activities. Systems may, of course, reallocate other funds to supplement these improvement actions also.

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