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Legislative Authority for Results Matter

CDE is required to report annually to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the United States Department of Education on the outcomes of preschool children served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). CDE uses preschool outcome data from the approved early childhood assessments for Results Matter to report on the effectiveness of the programs that serve children who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Preschool-aged children with disabilities who have an IEP according to federal requirements in IDEA will also receive an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that addresses Colorado’s preschool academic standards as indicated in Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) . IEPs should be the basis for the ILP ensuring that general educators and special educators can effectively collaborate to meet the learning needs of children with disabilities. The ILP relies on valid and reliable assessment documented in the child’s IEP and during initial baseline assessment using Results Matter assessment data. Progress is monitored through the ongoing use of Results Matter assessment with the goal of improving preschool outcomes for children with disabilities.

Below are the relevant statutes that apply.

Preschool Special Education

PL 108-446 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004

  • In accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1416(b)(1), not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, each State must have in place a performance plan that evaluates the State’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Part B and describe how the State will improve such implementation. This plan is called the Part B State Performance Plan (Part B – SPP).
  • In accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1416(b)(2)(C)(ii) the State shall report annually to the public on the performance of each local educational agency located in the State on the targets in the State’s performance plan.
  • The State also shall report annually to the Secretary on the performance of the State under the State’s performance plan. This report is called the Part B Annual Performance Report (Part B – APR). (from OSEP memorandum 05 – 12 to Chief State School Officers, State Directors of Special Education, and State Data Managers from Troy R. Justesen, Acting Director, Office of Special Education Programs, USDOE)

Part B Indicator 7 - Preschool Outcomes

IDEA requires that all U.S. states and territories report annually to OSEP on outcomes for preschoolers with disabilities as part of their Annual Performance Report. This indicator is intended to measure baseline-to-exit progress from the time children enter and exit from preschool special education services, regardless of whether they remain on an IEP in kindergarten.

Definition - Indicator 7 [20 U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A)] - Percent of preschool children aged 3 through 5 with IEPs who demonstrate improvement in the following areas:

Indicator 7A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships)
Indicator 7B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication and early literacy
Indicator 7C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs 

More information for administrators and special education directors can be found on the following web pages:

OSEP Preschool Outcomes Reporting

CDE has partnered with assessment publishers to design a method for automatically converting children’s Results Matter assessment ratings into the appropriate metrics on the three child outcomes defined by OSEP:

  1. Children have positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships)
  2. Children acquire and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy)
  3. Children use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

Watch a quick video on the three child outcomes, co-produced by CDE. Or, access more detailed information about the child outcomes at the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

For each functional outcome, the results are expressed in two summary statements:

  1. Percent of children who enter below age expectations who made greater than expected growth.
  2. Percent of children who exited within age expectations.

National technical assistance providers, including the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), have established crosswalks between individual publisher’s assessment tools and the three functional outcomes. The instrument crosswalks are available at the ECTA website.

In Colorado, the special education Administrative Units (AU) where the child is enrolled is responsible for outcomes reporting. Special education directors partner with Results Matter assessment administrators to ensure OSEP reporting procedures are followed. Special education directors must annually certify the number of children to be included in their AU’s OSEP Mandated Report.

Who Is Subject to OSEP Preschool Outcomes Reporting?

Preschoolers identified with an educational disability and receiving services under an IEP are required. Each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30 of any given year), AUs report the children who have exited preschool special education during that time.

If a program serves preschoolers who have IEPs, Results Matter Assessment must be implemented.

Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K)

C.R.S. § 22-7-1014 Preschool individualized readiness plans - school readiness - assessments.

(1)(a) Beginning in the fall semester of 2013, each local education provider that provides a preschool or kindergarten program shall ensure that each student enrolled in a preschool or kindergarten program operated by the local education provider receives an individualized readiness plan that addresses the preschool standards or kindergarten standards, as appropriate, and knowledge and skill areas in which a student needs assistance to make progress toward school readiness. If a student is identified as having a significant reading deficiency as provided in section 22-7-1205, the local education provider shall include the student’s READ plan created pursuant to section 22-7-1206 as a component of the student’s individualized readiness plan.

(b) In creating and implementing the individualized readiness plans, a local education provider shall use assessment instruments that are research-based, valid, and reliable to facilitate the systematic measurement of a student’s increasing knowledge, skills, and accomplishments within the classroom context. The purpose of the continuing assessments shall be to help direct teachers’ practice within the classroom with each student and thereby maximize each students’ progress toward demonstrating school readiness.

Voluntary Participants

Programs who include children on an IEP may use an assessment tool under the Results Matter umbrella license for children in their inclusive classrooms who are not eligible for services under IDEA. This is a voluntary choice as CDE does not have authority to require assessment of preschool children beyond those served under IDEA. While use of a child assessment tool can help programs earn Colorado Shines points, they are not required to use a tool under the CDE-managed Results Matter license..

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