The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is conducting a 5-year evaluation of states' monitoring and improvement practices under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to provide information to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) about guidance it can offer that will help states improve their monitoring and improvement systems. This is expected to increase states' compliance with Parts B and C of IDEA1 and to improve outcomes for children with disabilities and their families.
For this evaluation, "monitoring and improvement system" is meant to be a comprehensive term that captures what states do to evaluate their implementation of IDEA. Each state has two monitoring and improvement systems—one for Part B and one for Part C. In general, states' monitoring and improvement systems may include the process for designing the practices and procedures that constitute the system, how those practices and procedures are implemented and evaluated, and the means by which monitoring and improvement information is disseminated to stakeholders and the public.
This report presents data collected through the mail surveys conducted in the first phase of the evaluation. These surveys were designed to provide general information about a range of topics related to the monitoring and improvement systems used by states during 2004–05. This report is designed to provide OSERS (specifically the Office of Special Education Programs [OSEP]), states, the regional resource centers that provide technical assistance to states, and others familiar with monitoring under IDEA with a summary of the survey data collected about state monitoring and improvement practices in 2004–05. Future reports will discuss the later phases of the evaluation.
1 IDEA Part C: Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities serves infants and toddlers ages birth through 2 with disabilities and their families. IDEA Part B: Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities serves children and youth ages 3 through 21 with disabilities.