The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is implementing a new way to hold states accountable for educating children with disabilities. Previously, OSEP has focused on compliance and enforcement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements. The new system focuses on results. States must identify results they want to achieve and the actions that must be taken to achieve those results. This new system is called Results Driven Accountability (RDA). This system still monitors compliance, however, the focus is on educational and functional outcomes for children with disabilities. Previously, states were required to submit an Annual Performance Report (APR) and State Performance Plan (SPP) each February that focused on compliance. States are still required to do this, however, there is a new requirement for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013 through 2018 called the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). The SSIP is a qualitative indicator that focuses on improving results for children with disabilities. Each state must identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement and create an action plan to achieve the desired outcome. Because the SSIP is new, it is being developed and implemented in phases:
- Phase I (FFY 2013)
- Phase II (FFY 2014)
- Phase III (FFY 2015-2018)
In developing the SSIP, States must examine their current data and assess the capacity of their current infrastructure systems to determine if improvements are needed in systems such as professional development, financial structure, technical assistance, data systems, organizational structure, and accountability.
To read more about the SSIP, which is submitted as part of the Annual Performance Report (APR), go to the state website and open APR FFY2013 or more recent and read the section at the end labeled SSIP