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Legislative Authority for Results Matter
Colorado requires preschool programs receiving state or federal education funds to use a high quality early childhood assessment to support the learning of children served by the program and to communicate progress to families. Preschool programs may receive funding to provide Preschool Special Education services to students who have an Individual Educational Program (IEP) implement programming for students who qualify for the Colorado Preschool Program.
CDE is required to report annually to the Colorado General Assembly and the Office of Special Education Programs on the outcomes of children served by Colorado Preschool Program and Preschool Special Education funding. CDE aggregates or combines outcome data from the early childhood assessments to report on the effectiveness of the programs that utilize public funds. Below are the relevant statutes that apply.
PL 108-446 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 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
Percent of preschool children with IEPs who demonstrate improved: positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships); acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy); and use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs. Measurement: Percent of preschool children who reach or maintain functioning at a level comparable to same-aged peers; percent of preschool children who improve functioning and percent of preschool children who did not improve functioning.
More information for administrators and special education directors can be found on the web page, OSEP Reporting for Preschool Special Education and in the handbook section, Results Matter Assessment and Children with Disabilities.
CPP Act – C.R.S. 22-28-112 – Annual Report:
By January 15, 2007, and by January 15 of each year thereafter, the department shall report to the education committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, or any successor committees, on the effectiveness of the Colorado preschool program. The department is authorized to request from any participating school district such information and data as may be necessary to make such reports.
Amended Rules for the Administration of the Colorado Preschool Program Act 2228-R 7.00 Reporting Requirements
The Colorado General Assembly requires the Colorado Department of Education to submit annually a report on the status of Colorado Preschool Program. The Colorado Department of Education shall use the information required in the annual reapplication for participation in the Colorado Preschool Program as the basis of that report. In addition, each district council is required to select methods for measuring and reporting child progress. Such methods may include portfolio assessment. Districts are discouraged from using standardized tests as a means of measuring progress. The Colorado Department of Education may request a report on child progress from districts as part of the final report.
In order to meet reporting requirements for CPP and preschool special education, Results Matter uses the online reporting platforms available with approved assessments. Use of these online systems also allows for local systems to easily and quickly generate a variety of reports for planning and accountability uses. In addition, extensive work has been done by researchers and psychometricians from across the country to augment and adapt the existing online systems so that, using a complex series of calculations, individual assessment results are converted to common scores to allow for consistent state and federal reporting across assessment tools. This conversion happens behind the scenes, allowing teachers to focus on their primary roles as participant-observers and using all available data to individualize instruction.
The CPP Act and Rules require that an individual teaching plan be developed for each child (22- 28-108 (1) (b) (IV) C.R.S. and C.C.R.6.04). This plan shall include identification of the child’s needs in the following areas: language, cognition, gross motor, fine motor, and social skills/self-esteem. In addition, the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids or “CAP4K” legislation (SB 08-212) requires that each child in a publicly funded preschool (i.e., CPP and preschool special education) and kindergarten program have an individual school readiness (ISR) plan that is informed by ongoing assessment of a child’s progress in developmental and academic domains. Collectively, CDE refers to an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which satisfies both the individual teaching plan and individual school readiness plan. Only one plan is needed to satisfy these requirements. However, preschoolers with disabilities will need to have a separate Individualized Education Program (IEP) according to federal requirements within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Some programs use an assessment tool under the Results Matter umbrella license for children not funded by CPP or preschool special education. This is a voluntary choice as CDE does not have authority to require assessment beyond CPP or preschool special education. 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.
Early care and education programs can earn points toward their Colorado Shines rating using a Results Matter assessment. Results Matter is open to any early care/education program who wishes to participate so long as they agree to adhere to program expectations. However, it is important to note that programs who do not serve state-funded children (CPP or preschool special education) are not required to use an assessment under the Results Matter/CDE state umbrella license in order to earn Colorado Shines points. Such programs have the option to purchase a standalone subscription. Also note that the Colorado Department of Education’s resources for ongoing training and professional development around authentic assessment are earmarked only for programs serving state-funded children.